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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
The film was shot before Tommy Lee Jones received both of his first ever Academy Award nominations, which were for JFK (1991) and The Fugitive (1993). The latter of which, Jones won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, his only win from four nominations, getting two later nominations, one each in the 2000s and 2010s. See more »
When Vince Johnson visits Carly in the hospital, he walks up to the left side of the bed and places the flowers on her from the right side of the bed. See more »
This film had some really interesting scenes that made me watch the movie twice but that was enough. The story overall is a bit too messy.
Jessica Lange was a hoot as the manic-depressive flirtatious wife of Army Major "Hank Marshall." Boy, poor Hank had his hands full with "Carly" as his wife. Lange plays the role a little over-the-top but that's what makes her interesting here. It turns out to be a military soap opera film, if there is such a thing.
The soap angle came in not just between the Major trying to control his out-of- control wife, but the couple's poor daughters who had to live with this under their roof. Amy Klempp and Amy Locane played the sympathetic daughters.
There's more to the story, such as incidental things like nuclear bomb testing but, believe-it-or-not, that takes a back seat to Jones and Lange's marital woes. Frankly. when I write this, over 10 years after seeing the film, I wonder why I bothered watching this twice. I was a big fan of Jones, and maybe that was it, plus Lange looked good back then playing the blonde bombshell. This is one of the last films in which she looked this good as her "Tootsie" days were starting to wan.
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