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The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

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

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
418 ( 836)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ofglen
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Zoey Wilson ...
Aunt Helena
Kathryn Doby ...
Aunt Elizabeth
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Luke (as Rainer Schoene)
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Karma Ibsen Riley ...
Aunt Sara
Lucile McIntyre ...
...
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

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:

A História da Aia  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,960,385
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Volker Schlöndorff replaced Karel Reisz as director. See more »

Goofs

The clock chimes 10 as Offred enters the Commander's office for the last time, but the clock seen on the wall behind her in the next few shots shows several minutes past 10 and in a close-up has gone back a few minutes. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Lydia: You are the lucky ones. You are going to serve God and country. I pronounce you handmaids.
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Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #7.4 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Girl Blue
Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Published by Polygram International Publishing, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Very disturbing and depressing
7 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

This is a nightmare vision of the future. It seems 1 out of every 100 women is fertile (for some reason). The ones who aren't perform slave labor. The ones that are are "sold" off to rich families where they have sex with the husband to produce a baby. Kate (the late and missed Natasha Richardson) is one such servant to Serena Joy (Faye Dunaway) and her husband the Commander (Robert Duvall). Kate wants out--but it seems there's no way.

The synopsis only scratches the surface of a VERY dark and disturbing movie. It slowly shows how women are treated and used and it just gets more horrifying as it unfolds. The parallels to Hitler's Nazi Germany are fairly obvious but here we have barren women instead of Jews and gays. The good acting by everybody makes this hard to shake off. Aidan Quinn (as Nick) and Duvall are OK; Victoria Tennant is chilling as a leader of the camps; Elizabeth McGovern is just great as a fellow prisoner who befriends Kate; Dunaway is also very good in her role. Best of all is Richardson. This couldn't have been an easy role but she pulls it off beautifully. She died at far too young an age. This is basically an unknown movie and it's easy to see why--it's far too dark and disturbing for a general audience. However the ending is (sort of) uplifting (and changed from the book). Grim, dark and depressing. View it at your own risk. The ceremony sequences are almost impossible to watch and shocked the hell out of me the first time I saw this.


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