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It's the early 1960s. Nuclear engineer Hank Marshall is a major in the US Army, he who works on top secret nuclear testing projects. Trouble follows him from posting to posting largely because of his mentally unstable wife, Carly Marshall, who is bipolar. During her manic phases, her already overt sexuality, which she models after such sex symbols as Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, is ratcheted up a notch, that partying behavior which is mixed with less frequent phases of physically destructive behavior. Regardless, Hank and Carly love each other, Hank who would admit to himself that he enjoys the fact that other men find Carly attractive, which is partly why he allows her to act the way she does in public. They, in turn, mutually love their now two teenaged daughters, Alex and Becky. Reassigned from their two year posting in Hawaii largely due to the ruckus Carly has caused there, they are next sent to Alabama, the base under the command of Vince Johnson, his wife, Vera Johnson, ... Written by
Teenagers set off hand grenades during daylight, but immediately afterward it is night. See more »
You take water, for example. Sometimes it's water, sometimes it's ice. Sometimes it's steam, vapor. It always the same old H2O. It only changes its properties. Your mother's like that. She's like water.
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The film is about the relationship of husband and wife, their troubles and how they cope with it. It also had a side plot about underground nuclear testing, which I don't think was that powerful or had that much of an impact for it to carry though as the finale, which also seem to be wrapped up uneventfully.
But the main story is their troubled relationship, and how through good, bad and worse they get through it with each other's support. Jessica Lange's performance as an unstable woman was amazing, not over the top in which it would have been typically done, but was portrayed truely and its fine nuance conveyed the subtle change in her mental state.
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