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A Delicate Balance (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Edward Albee (play)
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Release Date:
24 June 1975 (Portugal) See more »
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.
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:
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
User Reviews:
Delicate Indeed See more (15 total) »


  (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:
133 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Adapted from a play by Edward Albee. The original Broadway production, starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York on Sept. 12, 1966, ran for 132 performances and was nominated for the 1967 Tony Award for the Best Play.See more »


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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Delicate Indeed, 22 August 2004
Author: Kenneth Anderson ( from Los Angeles

As a huge fan of Albee's `Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' and that time in cinema known as the 70's when Hollywood temporarily forgot it was a business and attempted to make films that were about something, I approached AFT's `A Delicate Balance' with no little anticipation.

Sitting through this lengthy talk-fest of suburban WASPs initially proved unsatisfying. Drawn to something, I found myself unable to turn off the DVD, but wondered if it was merely a hope that `something' was going to happen to explain why these people assembled resembled no human beings I'd ever encountered.

Once the film ended, I resigned myself to having endured an inferior Albee production, puzzled by its reputation. Yet somehow my first impression struck me as false. I mean, I had to admit I loved the performances and there was something about the suburban milieu, that atmosphere of `Ordinary People,' that was intriguing enough to keep me watching, yet still left me cold.

I watched the film again, and like a pianist who learns to play the music after forgetting about the technique of the notes, I discovered a gripping, bitingly funny and achingly honest look into the fear of aging, the obligations of love, and the price paid for order instead of the messy spontaneity of actually living.

The language of `A Delicate Balance' is both its blessing and its curse. It's distancing in its theatricality, but BOY what those words convey! The performances too suffer the dual burden of being rich characterizations of people you'd hate to spend an evening with.

I found the film to be like a great work of literature; its riches aren't laid out easily on the surface for one to grasp, but if you take the time, it can be the most rewarding of experiences. Excellent if not exactly accessible.

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