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The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

 -  Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi  -  9 March 1990 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 4,605 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 22 critic

In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kate / Offred
...
Serena Joy
...
Nick
...
Moira
...
Aunt Lydia
...
Commander
...
Ofglen
...
Janine / Ofwarren
Zoey Wilson ...
Aunt Helena
Kathryn Doby ...
Aunt Elizabeth
Reiner Schöne ...
Luke (as Rainer Schoene)
Lucia Hartpeng ...
Cora
Karma Ibsen Riley ...
Aunt Sara
Lucile McIntyre ...
Rita
...
Officer on Bus
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Storyline

Set in a Fascistic future America, The Handmaid's Tale tells the story of Kate, a handmaid. In this America, the religious right has taken over and gone hog-wild. Kate is a criminal, guilty of the crime of trying to escape from the US, and is sentenced to become a Handmaid. The job of a Handmaid is to bear the children of the man to whom she is assigned. After ruthless group training by Aunt Lydia in the proper way to behave, Kate is assigned as Handmaid to the Commander. Kate is attracted to Nick, the Commander's chauffeur. At the same time, a resistance movement begins to challenge the regime. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

escape | slavery | fertility | future | birth | See more »

Taglines:

Branded: Sold: Controlled See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Handmaid's Tale  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,960,385 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hymns were sung by The Meredith College Chorale, and their lyrics were altered to match the dystopian theme of the film. Those featured include...

~Old Hundredth~

"Oh God, from whom all blessings flow. Hear us, your daughters, here below. Make us the vessels of the seed. Of those who come to us in need.

Remove our anger, cleanse our will. And leave us empty, to be filled.

Make us worthy to be filled."

~Shall We Gather at the River?~

"As we wander by the river. Cursed by sterility. Thanks, we give now, to the giver. Bless us with fertility.

Bless us. Bless us. Bless us. Bless us with fertility." See more »

Goofs

Time of day as Moira breaks out of the Red Center and passes the guards. See more »

Quotes

Kate: [very quietly mouthing] What's your name?
Moira: Moira. What's yours?
Kate: Kate.
See more »


Soundtracks

Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)
Written by Jimmie Hodges
Performed by The Mills Brothers
Published by Duchess Music Corporation
Rights administered by MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA, Inc.
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Colour coded and disturbing dictatorship
13 April 1999 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Although this film can't come close to the sheer power of the book it's based on, it's still a moving and disturbing portrayal of an America gone wrong. The world of grass and concrete contrasts with the blue, red and black of the people inhabiting it, making the characters stand out in stark relief from each other.

This film draws you in, and is marred only by a slight over-Hollywoodisation in places, but is still chilling in its treatment of an American dictatorship, based around gender segregation, and rife with slogans and the odd masonic symbol. However, slight criticism aside, this is well directed and written, and the cast are all perfect in their roles, particularly Natasha Richardson, a usually underused actress, but here bringing life to the oppressed Offred


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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