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Cruel But Necessary is the story of Betty Munson's strange journey of self-discovery and soul-awakening... See more » | Add synopsis »
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Cruel But Necessary (review)
 (From FlickFilosopher. 4 December 2008, 7:20 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Digital micro gem See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Wendel Meldrum ... Betty Munson

Mark Humphrey ... Doug Munson
Luke Humphrey ... Darwin Munson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Albrecht ... Betty's Assistant

Eddie Allen ... Alan
Esther M. Appel ... Gramma
Ian Axness ... Paul

Jack Bryant ... Umpire

Jacob DeMonte-Finn ... Danny

Sabine Ehrenfeld ... Laura

Fred Goss ... Chad

Sam McMurray ... Apartment Manager
James O'Connel ... Teddy
Julie Payne ... Pearl

Anya Profumo ... Alan's Assistant (as Anya Scemama)
Rino Romano ... Wayne
Ken Rothwell ... Groom
Tiffany Sazzmann ... Bride

Deborah Theaker ... Nurse
Regina Welch ... Donna

Lisa Zane ... Gynecologist

Directed by
Saul Rubinek 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Wendel Meldrum 

Produced by
Chris Kern .... executive producer
Lynne Moses .... co-producer (as Lynne Moses)
Elinor Reid .... producer
Cinematography by
Steve Ackerman 
Film Editing by
Chris Kern 
Casting by
Francene Selkirk 
Sound Department
Paul Hurtubise .... additional sound designer
Wouter van Herwerden .... sound re-recording mixer
Other crew
Marcello Benedetto .... legal counsel
Domenic Romano .... legal counsel

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

92 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The actors used their own homes for the film's sets.See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Digital micro gem, 23 July 2010
Author: tigerfish50 from Old London, New England

"Cruel But Necessary" is a highly original experiment in micro-budget independent film-making. The opening scenes reveal suburban housewife and mother Betty's discovery of her husband's infidelity due to his inadvertent recording of a conversation with his mistress on the family video camera. After the couple's separation, Betty continues to live in the family home with her monosyllabic teenage son, Darwin, and decides to document her chaotic life and thoughts with the camera. Her video diary is made up of her monologues to the camera when alone, and episodes when she conceals the camera during meetings with friends and family. When the sullen Darwin blocks her attempts to communicate with him, she hides the camera in his bedroom. By these means the camera becomes Betty's confidante and partner-in-crime as it observes her dysfunctional family in a sequence of darkly humorous scenes.

Wendel Meldrum, who plays the central character, conceived the idea and wrote the witty layered screenplay. Her portrayal of Betty holds everything together at the center, while Saul Rubinek's direction of an excellent supporting cast complements her fine performance. The DVD comes with a rich selection of interviews and deleted scenes. "Cruel But Necessary" is the best kind of independent film-making - necessary even.

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