MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 18,582 this week

A Delicate Balance (1973)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  April 1976 (UK)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 426 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 11 critic

A well-to-do Connecticut family is upended when the grown daughter's godparents, seized by a nameless terror, decide they've come to live with them.

Director:

Writer:

(play)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 250 titles
created 16 Mar 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 10 May 2011
 
list image
a list of 33 titles
created 08 Feb 2013
 
a list of 36 titles
created 12 May 2014
 
a list of 45 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Delicate Balance (1973)

A Delicate Balance (1973) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Delicate Balance.
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Rainmaker (1956)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she's just plain plain! Even the town ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey
Dead Cert (1974)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

As a surprise, two horse owners decide to ride their animals themselves in a steeplechase. But Bill Davidson's horse "Admiral" behaves weirdly, and falls hard after an obstacle. Bill dies ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Scott Antony, Judi Dench, Michael Williams
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A tangled triangle. In the rural South of the early 20th century, Miss Amelia is the town eccentric, selling corn liquor and dispensing medicine. She takes in her half-sister's son, a ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Callow
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Keith Carradine, Cork Hubbert
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Nice, eccentric, idealistic and slightly mad Countess Aurelia, who believes that the good must prevail over evil, decides to stand up to corrupt powerful leaders of Paris in her own way, which grabs everyones attention.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Paul Henreid, Oskar Homolka
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Franz Roberti is a famous orchestra conductor who has a number of girlfriends. While talking with his old music teacher, Professor Thalma, he meets Constance, an aspiring music composer. ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Moeller
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Charles Boyer, John Beal
Dragon Seed (1944)
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The lives of a small Chinese village are turned Upside down when the Japanese invade it. And heroic young Chinese woman leads her fellow villagers in an uprising against Japanese Invaders.

Directors: Harold S. Bucquet, Jack Conway
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the 1810s, an old maid poses as her own niece in order to teach her onetime beau a lesson.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Franchot Tone, Eric Blore
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Lady Booby alias 'Belle', the lively wife of the fat landed squire Sir Thomas Booby, has a lusty eye on the attractive, intelligent villager Joseph Andrews, a Latin pupil and protégé of ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Ann-Margret, Peter Firth, Michael Hordern
The Corn Is Green (TV Movie 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A strong-willed teacher, determined to educate the poor and illiterate youth of an impoverished Welsh village, discovers one student whom she believes to have the seeds of genius in him.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ian Saynor, Bill Fraser
Song of Love (1947)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Composer Robert Schumann struggles to compose his symphonies while his loving wife Clara offers her support. Also helping the Schumanns is their lifelong friend, composer Johannes Brahms.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Paul Henreid, Robert Walker
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Claude Jade, Rudolf Nureyev, Paul Scofield
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Sir Robert Clarke looks back on his life and the summer when as a 16-year-old he first fell in love with Louise St. Leger.

Director: Paul Joyce
Stars: Edward Rawle-Hicks, Paul Scofield, Tom Bell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Agnes
...
Tobias
...
Julia
...
Claire
...
Harry
...
Edna
Edit

Storyline

In Connecticut, Agnes and Tobias are an upper-class married couple whose relationship has been uneasy for many years, since at least the time their son died; but they've managed to find a certain comfortable pattern of uneasiness. Agnes's sister, Claire, lives with them and insists that her perpetual drinking is not alcoholism but willfulness. Their daughter, Julia, poised to have her fourth divorce, has come back home. Unexpectedly, her room has been taken over by Harry and Edna, best friends of Tobias and Agnes. Seized by a nameless terror that propelled them out of their own house, Harry and Edna have decided to stay. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The sister who drank too much. The daughter who divorced too much. They're all there when Tobias and Agnes have their little get-together and tear-apart.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

April 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Balansgång  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first (and only) time that Joseph Cotten and Katharine Hepburn appeared together since they starred in the original Broadway production of "The Philadelphia Story" in 1939. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Mediocre in spite of top flight cast
3 June 2012 | by (Boulder, CO) – See all my reviews

After seeing this I tried to figure out why it is considered at all above the ordinary. The characters are: a domineering wife, a docile husband, an alcoholic sister, a daughter working on her fourth divorce, friends in a crisis of anxiety. I suppose this exaggerated mix is interesting to a playwright, but maybe not to an audience, at least to this member of the audience. My interest flagged while spending over two hours watching these unhappy people work through their long-standing problems.

Katharine Hepburn as Agnes, the wife, is, well, Katharine Hepburn. That is good as far as it goes, but her performance here seemed overly rehearsed--every body movement and spoken line struck me as anything but spontaneous. If I had not known that it was Paul Schofield as Tobias, the husband, I would not have found his performance all that remarkable. Kate Reid's performance as Claire, Agnes' alcoholic sister, might play well on stage, but here it struck me as embarrassingly overacted, perhaps exaggerated by the extreme close-ups and silly script elements like the accordion playing. Lee Remick did add some spark as Julia, the much-divorced daughter. Betsy Blair, as Edna, a supposed friend, gave little indication why Agnes and Tobias should find her of value (not sure if this was a result of her performance or the script). Joseph Cotton, as Harry, Edna's husband, turned in the most sincere performance, making me think that he has been under-appreciated as an actor.

I liked the question raised of when love for friends equals, or even trumps, inherent family bonds. This play gives credence to Robert Frost's quote, "Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in," and submits that this quote is not as nearly a given when applied to friends.

I found some character behaviors unfathomable. Consider Julia's reaction to Harry and Edna's taking over her bedroom. She was insulted by this from the beginning, but about midway through the play she went ballistic and finally flew upstairs in a rage. Later Harry reported that Julia had become hysterical and was blocking a doorway with her arms outstretched. I fully expected that in subsequent scenes Julia would be carted off to the nut house, but no, the next morning she was calm and collected. When Harry and Edna came in to the house uninvited, with the intention of moving in, they appeared to be disconnected from reality. But then overnight they became rational.

Spending time with these people would be something that I would not look forward too, but neither did I want to spend two hours with them in this movie, being confined to a house with nothing to entertain but conversation. On the other hand, I would not want to spend time with George and Martha of, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" either, but I found that movie spellbinding.

Rather than the filming of a stage play, this movie is an adaptation. No matter how director Richardson tries to break up the monotony by mixing close-ups and two shots and using different vantage points for the camera, he cannot overcome the essential staginess, particularly given Albee's stricture that his text was not to be changed. I think that the filming of a stage production of this might have been preferable, since there is no pretense there of a realistic setting. It was a delicate balance for the family in this play to stay together but the movie fails to achieve the delicate balance of turning a stage play into an engrossing movie.

I think only those who appreciate stage productions will truly appreciate this movie.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Am I wrong to find it funny FlorenceLawrence
Discuss A Delicate Balance (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?