IMDb > A Delicate Balance (1973)

A Delicate Balance (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Director:
Writer:
Edward Albee (play)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Delicate Balance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 June 1975 (Portugal) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
NewsDesk:
(35 articles)
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 (From Scott Feinberg. 16 September 2014, 8:50 AM, PDT)

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User Reviews:
Their Well Ordered Lives See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Katharine Hepburn ... Agnes

Paul Scofield ... Tobias

Lee Remick ... Julia

Kate Reid ... Claire

Joseph Cotten ... Harry

Betsy Blair ... Edna

Directed by
Tony Richardson 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Edward Albee  play

Produced by
Ely A. Landau .... producer
Robert A. Goldston .... supervising producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
 
Film Editing by
John Victor-Smith 
 
Art Direction by
David Brockhurst 
 
Costume Design by
Margaret Furse 
 
Makeup Department
Peter Robb-King .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Zelda Barron .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terry Hodgkinson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Bryn Siddall .... property buyer
 
Sound Department
Gerry Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer
John Ireland .... dialogue editor
Simon Kaye .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Nobby Cross .... gaffer
Roy Rodhouse .... best boy
 
Other crew
Jonathan Burrows .... production executive
Kay Fenton .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
133 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Hume Cronyn was nominated for the 1967 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "A Delicate Balance" as the character Tobias.See more »

FAQ

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Their Well Ordered Lives, 30 July 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Probably were it not for the American Film Theater, that noble project which ultimately did fail of bringing productions of classical American works to film, we might never have seen A Delicate Balance. It's like a lot of O'Neill's work, it's all in the creation of the characters.

Certainly a play which consists of six characters sitting around and talking would not be considered anything film-able today. A Delicate Balance for me seems to take off in the same directions as Edward Albee's other classic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and also bears no small resemblance to O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Both of those films however had bigger budgets and were made more cinematic by having the players move into various locations. The one set technique just doesn't work here. This is not for instance a story as gripping as Alfred Hitchcock's Rope or Rear Window. My guess is that the budget was blown on getting the high priced stars.

Paul Scofield and Katharine Hepburn play a pair of sixty somethings married and living in a posh Connecticut suburb, the kind of place Hepburn grew up in and knew well. Living with them is Hepburn's leach of a sister Kate Reid who they keep well supplied with alcohol and who lives there at Hepburn's insistence. Otherwise Scofield would have tossed this one out with the trash years ago. But he bows to Hepburn's wishes to keep peace and order, a delicate balance if you will.

They get two intruders in their well ordered lives one day. Their neighbors and long time friends, Joseph Cotten and Betsy Blair just ring the bell and announce that something unknown has frightened them in their home and they need to move out and move in with them. Scofield offers them his daughter's room.

But then daughter announces she's moving back after failed marriage number four. Needless to say that causes the balance to go out of whack. Lee Remick is the daughter and she's a selfish and spoiled suburban princess. After this everybody grates on each other's nerves.

Short and on plot, but deep on characterization is A Delicate Balance. It explores the problems of old age and loneliness. Cotten and Blair have no children and Scofield and Hepburn take little comfort in Remick. Perhaps if there were grandchildren things might be different for both couples. There was a son who died for Hepburn and Scofield and that seems to have cast a permanent pall over both of them.

Though Remick is blood kin, Hepburn and especially Scofield have more in common with their neighbors. How it all works out is for you to see A Delicate Balance for.

The film's saving grace is the wonderful performances by the cast. The original Broadway production ran for 132 performances in 1966-1967 and starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy in the Scofield-Hepburn roles. But certainly Kate and Paul were going to sell more tickets than either of the other two worthy players.

Not that A Delicate Balance did much business back in the day. These films were for limited release in any event and if it's making money it's now in video sales and rentals. Still we can thank the American Film Theater for its preservation with some of the best preservers around.

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