Plenty (1985)

R  |   |  Drama  |  20 September 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 2,008 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 12 critic

A young Englishwoman spends 20 years to make whatever kind of life for herself at the expense of others around her in post-World War 2 England.



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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Brock
Alice Park
Sir Leonard Darwin
Sir Andrew Charleson
Mr. Aung
André Maranne ...
Pik Sen Lim ...
Madame Aung
Ian Wallace ...
Tristram Jellinek ...
Peter Forbes-Robertson ...
Brussells Hotel Manager
Hugo De Vernier ...
James Taylor ...
Tony (dead man)


Susan Traherne has been irreparably changed by her wartime experiences as a Resistance fighter. She sets out in the post-war world to make her way to what she wants, no matter who is hurt, or how. Written by Cleo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She wants it all. She takes it all. She pays the price. See more »




R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

20 September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bolluk  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1985, Sir John Gielgud was awarded gongs for Best Supporting Actor by both the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. See more »


Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was in 1953, yet the flag display in the background includes the Canadian "maple leaf" flag which was not adopted until 1965. See more »


Susan Traherne: I would stop, I would stop, I would stop fucking talking if I ever heard anybody else say anything worth fucking stopping talking for!
See more »


Down by the Riverside
Arranged by Terry Lightfoot
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User Reviews

an under-rated tour de force
30 September 1998 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

"Plenty" needs to be seen on a big screen in a theatre; more than most, this is a film that suffers in its translation to a TV screen. (Among other things, there are scenes that are simply ruined in the format change--like the hilarious scene of Streep and Sting on a sofa as Queen Elizabeth's coronation plays live on the tellie!) Sound is also important to fully appreciating the film--like the constant reminders of the sound of opening parachutes that echo throughout the story.

It's easy to understand why the film was not a box office success; it focuses on a woman who is not terribly likeable, but I contend that it is a movie rich in observations that transcend post-war Britain and the borish woman who develops in that milieu. "Plenty" is (among other things) about passion, diplomacy, memory, self-deception and the great expectations that are so easily squashed in our unheroic modern world. The film (and Hare's play before it) revolves around a crucial scene brilliantly played by a startlingly mad Streep and Ian McKellan's icily insightful foreign service officer--well past the film's mid-point. After his long-in-coming dose of reality, Streep's Susan takes a tailspin into the movie's melancholy conclusion. It's not an easy film to "enjoy," but the uniformly brilliant performances from Streep, Charles Dance, Tracy Ullman and John Gielgud make the film fascinating to watch and rewarding to have experienced.

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