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'night, Mother (1986)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,466 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 10 critic

What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, ... See full summary »

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Title: 'night, Mother (1986)

'night, Mother (1986) on IMDb 7.5/10

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jessie Cates
...
Thelma Cates
Ed Berke ...
Dawson Cates
Carol Robbins ...
Loretta Cates
Jennifer Roosendahl ...
Melodie Cates
Michael Kenworthy ...
Kenny Cates
Sari Walker ...
Agnes Fletcher
Claire Malis ...
Operator (voice)
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Storyline

What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, Jessie, has had it. A middle-aged epileptic unable to hold a job or drive with a failed marriage and a drug-addicted runaway son on the wrong side of the law, Jessie can find no reason to go on living. Adapted from the play by Marsha Norman, "'night, Mother" is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. How can Thelma convince her daughter that life is worth living if she can't feel her pain? How can she end her daughter's embrace of death before morning? Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>/Reid Taylor

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in 1983. It was a rare and remarkable theatrical experience. Controversial. Provocative. And shocking. Now, two Academy Award-winning actresses make the Pulitzer Prize-winning play the motion picture event of the year.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 January 1987 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

'night, Mother  »

Box Office

Gross:

$442,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title could be an allusion to the last line of Act III of Hamlet, when Hamlet tells his mother, "Good night, Mother." Given Hamlet's suicidal tendencies, and the bloody end of the play, the line certainly has morbid overtones. See more »

Quotes

Thelma: But you are my child!
Jessie: I'm what became of your child. I found an old baby picture of me... and it was somebody else - not me. It was somebody pink and fat. Who never heard of sick or lonely. Somebody who cried and got fed. And reached up and got held. Slept whenever she wanted to just by closing her eyes. Somebody who mainly just laid there and laughed at the colors waving over, round her head. And chewed on a polka-dot whale. And woke up knowing some new trick nearly every day. Rolled over and ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Better Than Ever (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent Film...
1 April 2002 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

"'Night Mother" is a film for those who appreciate a good, thought provoking drama. Anne Bancroft, the Italian/American actress from NYC plays a Southern woman with gusto. Sissy Spacek as her daughter is excellent as a woman who has had enough of life & has decided to end hers. It's hard to decide who you feel more sorry for. My heart tends to go out more to the Bancroft character because Spacek's character has finally found some peace with her decision to end her life. This movie is very intense & the music on the soundtrack is beautiful & adds to it's emotional impact.


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Absolutely killed me Flanneletteshirt
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Could Thelma have stopped Jessie? ntolabs
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