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The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama | 9 November 1964 (USA)
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

Penelope Mortimer (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Bancroft ... Jo
Peter Finch ... Jake
James Mason ... Conway
Janine Gray ... Beth
Cedric Hardwicke ... Jo's Father
Rosalind Atkinson Rosalind Atkinson ... Jo's Mother
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Jake's Father
Richard Johnson ... Giles
Maggie Smith ... Philpot
Eric Porter ... Psychiatrist
Cyril Luckham ... Doctor
Anthony Nicholls ... Surgeon
John Franklyn-Robbins John Franklyn-Robbins ... Parson
John Junkin ... Undertaker
Yootha Joyce ... Woman at Hairdressers
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Storyline

Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three marriages, with only the youngest being Jake's biological child, although he treats them all as his own. Jo left her second husband Giles after meeting Giles' friend Jake, the two who were immediately attracted to each other. Their upper middle class life is much different than Giles and Jo's, who lived in a barn in the English countryside. But Jo is ruminating about her strained marriage to Jake, with issues on both sides. Jo suspects Jake of chronic infidelity, she only confronting him with her suspicions whenever evidence presents itself. And Jo's psychiatrist believes that Jo uses childbirth as a rationale for sex, which he believes she finds vulgar. These issues in combination have placed Jo in a fragile mental state. They both state that they love the other, but neither really seems to like ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How many others? Six...a dozen...what does the number matter? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esclava y seductora See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romulus Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film never explains its title, which refers to a traditional child's rhyme: "Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater/Had a wife, but couldn't keep her;/So he put her in a shell/And there he kept her very well." This serves as the epigraph of Penelope Mortimer's original novel. See more »

Goofs

After Jake returns from his trip with presents for the children, he and Jo are sitting on a couch and she moves closer to him. A shadow of a crew member's head can be seen quickly moving on and off Jo's skirt. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I saw this film as a mother of 5 and identified completely with it .
28 January 2006 | by kkeane-2See all my reviews

As a mother of 5 at the time, I saw this film and never forgot the opening scene of Ann Bancroft in a department store--Harrod's?--having the best nervous breakdown I've ever seen. Believe me , identification doesn't say enough about my feelings. I adored this film and wondered if I would ever see it again. Delighted to find it on your web-site though the one Video available is pretty pricey--any other possibilities for purchase? Also surprised to see that Maggie Smith has a part as Phillpot but I don't recall that character. Certainly Peter Finch was gorgeous and also sensitive, but it was here that I first discovered Ann Bancroft and followed her career for many years. It is a great pleasure to find it again and that others are so fond of it also. I thought the title referred to the child's nursery rhyme "Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater, had a wife and couldn't keep her" great title also, very moving all the way through. James Mason was the "other" I believe. That's all i can manage after so many years.


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