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The Cider House Rules (1999)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  7 January 2000 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 68,285 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 422 user | 142 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.

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Title: The Cider House Rules (1999)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nurse Edna
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Nurse Angela
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Buster
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Olive Worthington
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Peaches
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Muddy
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Mary Agnes
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Ray Kendall
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Jack (as Evan Dexter Parke)
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Storyline

Homer is an orphan in remote St. Cloud, Maine. Never adopted, he becomes the favorite of orphanage director Dr. Larch, who imparts his full medical knowledge on Homer, who becomes a skilled, albeit unlicensed, physician. But Homer yearns for a self-chosen life outside the orphanage. When Wally and pregnant Candy visit the orphanage Dr. Larch provides medically safe, albeit illegal, abortions Homer leaves with them to work on Wally's family apple farm. Wally goes off to war, leaving Homer and Candy alone together. What will Homer learn about life and love in the cider house? What of the destiny that Dr. Larch has planned for him? Written by Martin Lewison <MLewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

orphanage | orphan | abortion | cider | apple | See more »

Taglines:

A story about how far we must travel to find the place where we belong.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexuality, nudity, substance abuse and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cider House Rules  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£47,631 (UK) (17 March 2000)

Gross:

$1,652,637 (Sweden) (1 September 2000)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The orphan that gets into the pie dough and eats all of it and is shown throwing up all over the orphanage is named 'Steerforth'. Steerforth is the name of one of the main character's friends in the Charles Dickens book "David Copperfield" which Homer reads to the children in their bedroom. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, the town of Lenox, Massachusetts is spelled "Lennox". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Opening narration; a couple of snippets of interspersed dialog are omitted]
Dr. Wilbur Larch: In other parts of the world young men leave home and travel far and wide in search of a promising future. Their journeys are often fueled by dreams of triumphing over evil, finding a great love, or the hopes of fortunes easily made. Here in St. Cloud's not even the decision to get off the train is easily made, for it requires an earlier, more difficult decision - add a child to your life, or leave one ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

My Ideal
Composed by Newell Chase / Leo Robin / Richard A. Whiting
Performed by Margaret Whiting with Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra
Published by Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Caine's Rules
13 March 2000 | by (Cairns Australia) – See all my reviews

The Cider House Rules is a folksy tale about a boy from an orphanage and his coming of age. He's been trained to deliver babies at the orphanage by the benevolent Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine).

Notably this boy's passage into manhood necessitates him accepting the responsibility of also performing illegal abortions! Now there's a twist. John Irving, also wrote the books The World According To Garp and The Hotel New Hampshiire, made into films of the same name, as well as A Prayer For Owen Meany which was made into the puzzling Simon Birch, a film Irving vigourously disowns. Irving subsequently, in the case of Cider House, has also written the screenplay.

The actual cider house rules are a minor element of a rambling film that is full of such minor events.They are a non-consequential, ignored set of laws meant to govern the behaviour of the workers who bunk in the cider house on an apple farm.

But life's like that, or so John Irving and his film would have you believe. It's just that usually films concentrate a little more on life's more tumultuous moments.

Young Homer Wells (our budding unlicensed doctor) is played delightfully by Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)with a sweet smile and sleepy eyes. Those of you who prefer your actors to be more dynamic might find Maguire to be too even, but in this film his style was just the ticket.

He's one of the boys who were never chosen to be adopted at the orphanage. There are some touching scenes centred around the children in particular not being selected, hovering with their bags packed.

Homer sets off to see the world with new friends Candy (Charlize Theron) and Wally (Paul Rudd). They had attended the orphanage for an abortion.

Homer sees the sea for the first time. He learns how to pick apples and to get on with his work mates. He has a romance. And he learns how to accept responsibility for his and other's actions away from the shelter of the orphanage. And that's about it. And that's just enough.

The mood of the film accentuates a dreamy continuance; years and seasons merge. Life goes on. The apples grow. Relationships develop. The scenery is beautiful. The black labourers accept their lot.

This is life (and death) seen from the personal; a snapshot of middle, rural America; a land where you're meant to just get on with it and accept your lot.

The Cider House Rules is sensitively directed and written with an emphasis on people caring for each other. It's a bit of a weepy. Even villains are given their good sides.


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