The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • The story of Mel and Edna (Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft), a middle-class, middle-aged, middle-happy couple living in a Manhattan high rise apartment building. Mel loses his job, the apartment is robbed, Edna gets a job, Mel loses his mind, Edna loses her job . . . to say nothing of the more minor tribulations of nosy neighbors, helpful relatives and exact bus fares. The couple suffers indignity after indignity (some self-inflicted) and when they seem on the verge of surrender, they thumb their noses defiantly and dig the trenches for battle.

    - Written by alfiehitchie
  • Married couple Mel and Edna Edison are middle aged, empty nested, middle class New Yorkers. Mel is slowly unraveling and he knows it. The company he has worked for for twenty-two years has hit difficult financial times, and he is only its latest casualty. With the exception of Edna herself, every other thing in his day to day grind seems to be eating at him, which is exacerbated by incidents concerning their Second Avenue apartment, and the heat wave, combined with the build up of garbage around them, especially right below their fourteenth floor apartment balcony. He is in a catch-22 situation where not being able to find a job fuels his depression, which he almost uses as an excuse for not working hard to find that replacement job. Despite being by his side, Edna can't help but be negatively affected by Mel's constant negativity about everything. As Edna decides to go back into the workforce after twenty-two years of being a mother and housewife, Mel eventually suffers a nervous breakdown. Edna and Mel's outwardly successful older brother Harry do whatever they believe they can to help Mel both financially and emotionally, but Mel himself may have to figure out what he needs to do to get back on the road to mental well being.

    - Written by Huggo
  • A suddenly unemployed ex-executive suffers a nervous breakdown.

    - Written by alfiehitchie


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