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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:

A haunting tale of sexuality in a country gone wrong. 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

David Dukes:  a doctor See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Aunt Lydia: In the days of evil and anarchy you had freedom to, now you are granted freedom from. Don't underrate it.
See more »


Soundtracks

Johnny Come Home
Written by David Steele and Roland Gift
Performed by Fine Young Cannibals
Published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.
Courtesy of MCA Records/I.R.S. Records
Licensed by FFR Records Ltd Trading as London Records ©1985
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Startling visual impact
21 May 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The handmaids in brilliant red, the wives in electric blue, the children in white--Margaret Atwood's neo-fascist state comes startingly alive in Schloendorff's film. The bright colors are oppressive in their uniformity, whether in the "ceremony"--Robert Duvall's passionless copulation with Natasha Richardson as she lies in the lap of his sterile wife, Faye Dunaway--or in the party to celebrate the birth of a handmaid's child, or the execution of another handmaid for fornication. There are several fine actors--Elizabeth McGovern and Aidan Quinn also play memorable, if brief, roles--but the cinematography steals the show here, giving this anti-Utopia the same oppressive tension as the original 1984 and far surpassing any version of Brave New World. It may be that Atwood's book, which I haven't read, adds layers of depth to the characters and plot, but Schloendorff's visualisation is a real enhancement to the tale. He creates the tension of a police state with only momentary intrusions of brutality or machinery. A strong film that will gain its following with time.


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