Plenty (1985)

R  |   |  Drama  |  20 September 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 2,007 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


The heat of passion. The power of anger. It ruined them. It destroyed her... 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?


The film's source "Plenty" play by writer David Hare was inspired by the reality that around three quarters of women who got engaged during the second world war SOE operations ended up being divorced in the subsequent immediate future after the war ended. See more »


Queen Elizabeth II's coronation was in 1953, yet the flag display includes the flag of Guyana, which wasn't designed until 1962 or officially adopted until 1966. See more »


Susan Traherne: You don't understand the figures in my mind!
See more »


Trumpet Voluntary
Music by Jeremiah Clarke
Arranged by Edrich Siebert
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Streep's Best

In "Plenty" (***1/2). Meryl Streep gives one of her greatest performances in the complex role of "Susan Traherne", an idealistic young Englishwoman whose compulsive need to stir things up comes in conflict with a crippling lack of courage. We follow her life from her days in the French Resistance at the end of World War II to her professional and emotional decline during the 60's. Her key line: "I want to change the world, but I don't know how." The supporting cast, production and direction are superb, and the score by Bruce Smeaton is hauntingly beautiful. The character functions as both a metaphor for postwar England and a real flesh and blood human being, although it's a flaw that we don't learn more about her family background, apparently an upper class one, which might have contributed more to an understanding of her later, often perverse, behavior. The only two people she seems to have in the world are Charles Dance, playing her long-suffering diplomat husband and Tracy Ullmann, wonderful as her free-spirited best friend, probably the kind of person Susan would like to have been if it were not for her "fatal weakness": she likes "losing control." This film has been newly released in its original Panavision dimension on DVD and looks terrific. Seeing it the way it should be seen only enhances my opinion that it's one of the most underrated movies of the 80's.

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