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The Sandpiper (1965)

TV-14 | | Drama | 23 June 1965 (USA)
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A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Martin Ransohoff (story), Irene Kamp (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Laura Reynolds
Richard Burton ... Dr. Edward Hewitt
Eva Marie Saint ... Claire Hewitt
Charles Bronson ... Cos Erickson
Robert Webber ... Ward Hendricks
James Edwards ... Larry Brant
Torin Thatcher ... Judge Thompson
Tom Drake ... Walter Robinson
Douglas Henderson Douglas Henderson ... Phil Sutcliff (as Doug Henderson)
Morgan Mason Morgan Mason ... Danny Reynolds
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Storyline

Twenty-something Laura Reynolds is a free spirit who questions social conventions, laws and regulations. A struggling artist, she lives in a secluded beach-side cabin in Big Sur with her nine year old illegitimate son, Danny, on who she has instilled her values. Because of this questioning of convention, Laura has decided to home school Danny. Also because of this questioning of the law, Danny runs into some legal problems, and as such is court ordered to be sent to San Simeon, a Christian school in Monterey. This order is against Laura's wishes. The school's headmaster is Dr. Rev. Edward Hewitt, who tries to convince Laura that San Simeon is not the prison she probably believes it to be. Married for twenty-one years to his faithful wife Claire, Edward has become more a fund-raiser at all cost (for a new chapel) rather than an educator or priest. Despite their differences, Laura and Edward begin to fall for each other. Both but especially Edward have to reconcile their feelings for ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

AN ADULT LOVE STORY See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Almas en conflicto See more »

Filming Locations:

Big Sur, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$15,260,000, 31 December 1965

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,520,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was satirized by artist Mort Drucker and writer Larry Siegel in the March 1966 issue of "Mad" magazine #101 under the title "The Sinpiper." See more »

Goofs

The tie of the judge, as he stands talking to Laura, is straight inside his jacket. As the camera angle changes, the bottom of his tie is shown crumpled and protruding outside his jacket. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Edward Hewitt: I've learned that total adjustment to society is quite as bad as total maladjustment, that principled disobedience of unjust law is more Christian, more truly law abiding than unprincipled respect.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Statue for 'The Sandpiper' (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Wideness in God's Mercy
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Frederick William Faber
Music by Lizzie Shove Tourjée
Sung by the boys at the final church service
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hilariously misguided tripe; a must for bad movie-lovers
6 February 2008 | by robb_772See all my reviews

For their third film together (and their first as a newly-married couple), the Burtons chose one of the most infamous bad movies of all-time, the hilariously misguided effort THE SANDPIPER (1965). The film had a great pedigree starting with director Vincent Minnelli (who helmed such classics as 1944's MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, 1958's GIGI, and even 1970's criminally underrated ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER), and great supporting cast featuring Eva Marie Saint, Charles Bronson, Robert Webber, and James Edwards. Unfortunately, the film misses the mark on almost every occasion, undermining a potentially interesting love story with poorly-developed characters and cornball dialogue. I won't spend the time discussing the film's clumsy attempts as addressing such complex issues as theology, which are handled even worse than the central love triangle.

In all fairness, Burton has the right degree of sullenness to play the conflicted reverend, but the script gives him little else to do other than appear solemn. Burton is unarguably one of the greatest acting talents of his time, but this character is so one-note that even he cannot save it. Unfortunately, Taylor fares even worse – although she does display a believable rebelliousness that is necessary for her role of the free-spirited, agnostic artist, she is simply out of her element amongst the mid-sixties beatnik scene. No matter how hard she tries, it simply impossible believe a glamour queen like Taylor as a shack-living, bra-burning hippie, and the characterization only becomes less convincing and more ridiculous as the movie goes on.

In the supporting cast, only Robert Webber's villainous Ward makes much of an impression, as Eva Marie Saint is completely wasted as Burton's wronged wife and Charles Bronson is as miscast as Taylor as a sexually ambiguous sculptor. Even with its terrible dialogue, leaden plotting, and unconvincing performances, The Sandpiper is still certainly watchable. The location footage of the Big Sur is sometimes breathtaking and the Oscar-winning theme song "The Shadow of Your Smile" is memorable, but these attributes alone cannot lift the movie out the realm of being a "bad movie classic." Despite it's dubious quality and unanimously bad reviews from critics (or maybe because of them), THE SANDPIPER was yet another significant hit at the box office for the Burtons.


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