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Eunice (1982)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Drama  -  15 March 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 111 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

Based on characters from "The Carol Burnett Show," this was the film which led to the series "Mama's Family."

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Title: Eunice (TV Movie 1982)

Eunice (TV Movie 1982) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Storyline

Moments in four different years in the lives of the Harper family beginning with 1955 as a hopeful Eunice prepares to go to a party, and her brother Phillip, a recent college graduate, departs for New York In 1963, a married Eunice and her husband Ed Higgins help Mama welcome novelist Phillip home for a visit. In 1973, a divorced Eunice is living with Mama. In 1978, Eunice, Ellen, and Phillip return from Mama's funeral and Eunice makes a painful realization about her life. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Drama

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15 March 1982 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

There are only three Harper children shown in this movie: Eunice, Philip, and Ellen. Yet, in previous "Family" sketches (the basis of this movie)and in the series "Mama's Family", there are two other sons, Vinton (played by Ken Berry, who plays Philip in this movie)and Larry (played by Alan Alda). Brother Philip was played by Roddy McDowall in at least two of the original "Family" sketches. See more »

Connections

Followed by Mama's Family (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising
25 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure why this gem has been buried, but I'm glad I discovered it on YouTube.

It takes the form of four slices of Harper family life as we watch the familiar loser Eunice, and her successful brother Phillip, intersect at key points in their lives.

The humor is there, yes, but with a sharp, bitter edge that "The Carol Burnett Show" danced near but never on. "Eunice" slides down that edge and bleeds. The characters are larger than life, with Eunice far more of a bitter failure, and Phillip a far brighter star, than we'd see arising from one family. Still, the dynamics -- and the reality of how our choices make us who we are -- are painfully true to life.

The key interactions aren't between Mama and Eunice. They're between Eunice and Phillip. Carol Burnett brings a depth to the shallow Eunice I'd never seen before, especially in a quiet, dignified standoff with Harvey Korman's opportunistic Ed. Ken Berry's performance is amazing. He makes a sigh or a simple slump of the shoulders hold its own amid the overblown chaos around him. A lot of the credit for that must go to Harvey Korman as director, though, for allowing the camera to capture those small moments.

"Eunice" isn't one to just laugh at and move on. It's one to chew on. This might, really, be why it lay fallow. Nobody quite knew what to make of it, and thought it best, then, to just let it be.


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