6.2/10
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24 user 4 critic

Mrs. Soffel (1984)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 8 February 1985 (USA)
Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Margaret Soffel (as Jennie Dundas)
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Harley Cross ...
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Pippa Pearthree ...
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Joyce Ebert ...
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Storyline

Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and children to help Ed and his brother Jack escape and accompanies them into the wintery wasteland. Written by Reid Gagle

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A true story

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Drama | Romance

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PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Senhora Soffel  »

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(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Wahl was to meet with Diane Keaton about taking the role of Ed Biddle. But on his way to the meeting, Wahl crashed his motorcycle and suffered a head injury that required 89 stitches. The part was in the end cast with Australian actor Mel Gibson. See more »

Goofs

A toy electric train shown running around a Christmas tree is of a post-1950 design, as is the track. The train is based on 19th-century locomotive and passenger car prototypes, making it more plausible. However, toy electric trains that even remotely resembled the one shown did not exist by 1901. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not one of Mel Gibson's best
27 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I skimmed the other comments before writing this one in case I'd missed something, but I think my initial lukewarm reaction to the film, which I saw on Turner Classic Movies, is the one I'll stick with.

I tuned into this movie because of Mel Gibson and also because I also happen to like Matthew Modine and Edward Hermann.

One commenter said something about the director liking strong female characters, but I didn't see Mrs. Soffel as being strong. Yes, she was unfortunate to be born at a time when women were basically seen as appendages to men. Her husband was not terribly understanding. As the movie opens, she is ill. Then she seems to undergo a miraculous recovery after being bedridden for months. My interpretation of this is that she had probably been suffering from a depressive episode. Yes, Mrs. Soffel is weak. Instead of doing something positive to stir her out of her situation, she falls prey to a criminal, who, admittedly, may not have been all bad. I suppose she had formed some sort of romantic image of Ed Biddle. And perhaps he also had a romantic streak. Both characters are shown to be not at all realistic in the way they see life.

I also found the film rather slow-moving, especially at the beginning. I almost stopped watching. Overall I found, though there were some touching emotional moments, especially at the end, that the movie lacked much of a plot and the characters lacked depth. With such a weak script, I think it would be difficult for me to see much for the actors to have worked with and cannot praise their performances. I wouldn't consider the movie to have been a complete waste of my time, but I couldn't really recommend it.


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