6.3/10
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18 user 7 critic

Divorce American Style (1967)

Approved | | Comedy | 21 June 1967 (USA)
After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Richard Harmon
... Barbara Harmon
... Nelson Downes
... Nancy Downes
... Al Yearling
... Lionel Blandsforth
... David Grieff
... Dr. Zenwinn
... Dede Murphy
Pat Collins ... Pat Collins
... Farley
... Fern Blandsforth
... Larry Strickland
... Mark Harmon (as Tim Matthieson)
... Jonathan Harmon
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Storyline

After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they are re-united at a night club where they realize that their marriage was better than their divorce. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

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See it with someone you love See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 June 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Divorce à l'américaine  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Matheson and Gary Goetzman again played brothers in the 1968 release Yours, Mine, and Ours. See more »

Goofs

In the bathroom, Richard accidentally sprays water all over the mirror with when he fumbles with his Waterpik. Then Barbara walks over to the mirror and it's clean and dry. See more »

Quotes

Nelson Downes: I can imagine how anxious you must be to find the right woman. Your present wife a blonde maybe?
Richard Harmon: Ya, ya.
Nelson Downes: Well sir, a nice cool brunette would be just what the doctor ordered.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: Opening credits (and the musical score) begin when a conductor - having just walked across a field and set up a music stand - raises his baton, gives a downbeat, and "cues" the sounds of husbands and wives arguing from the houses in the neighborhood below. At the end of the picture, the conductor again appears in the field above the neighborhood and begins conducting the final musical score through the closing credits (and drowning out the sound of arguing). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Punky Brewster: Divorce Anderson Style (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Fall in Love
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Ted Koehler
Sung partially by Pat Collins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A scathing depiction of modern American society.
1 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

This movie is a scathing satire of the institution of marriage in modern American society. It offers a honest and frank glimpse of the problems associated with marriage. In the movie, the women are depicted as shrill and manipulative, the men as dupes and drunks, marriage itself as transient and temporary, and love as a sham. According to the movie, marriage is something "to be worked at," not to be enjoyed. Lawyers are crass and insensitive and the judicial system unforgiving. Dick Van Dyke plays Richard Harmon, a man whose life becomes a living nightmare when his marriage starts collapsing. far from being victims, the children are depicted as deriving much joy from their parents' bickering. Men are shown as being crushed under the weight of alimony and the women openly sneering at their men. Marriage counseling is depicted as being pedantic and out of touch and incapable of resolving marital discord. Set in 1967, the movie also depicts heavy consumption of alcohol and the use of cigarettes to deal with anxiety. Society in general is depicted as decadent and materialistic. The parent-child relationship is shown to be situational and shallow, with little love or affection. The story contains no heroes, nothing gets resolved, with the story ending the way it started, the details of which will not be disclosed in this report. The relationship between men and women is depicted as being a power struggle, with both men and women being prone to fits of acting out behavior bordering on outright physical violence. The Harmon character is shown breaking dishes, drinking, yelling, and losing his composure. His best friend is depicted as a cheater and panderer, and a white-collar pimp. The only character that has any redeeming qualities is the whore who has sense enough not to play into Harmon's acting out, not because she cares but because it would put her at risk. The potential for violence permeates throughout the story. Another of Harmon's friends is an out and out drunk. In the movie nobody cares about anybody; everybody is self-centered. There is no sense of community, no real desire to resolve issues, no personal warmth. Psychologically, all the principal characters are neurotic and are resistant to dealing honestly with their feelings. The worst offender of them all is Harmon whose affable exterior hides a deeply narcissistic personality that sets off his wife, which in turn triggers her own defenses. Sadly, these scenarios are not implausible; indeed they are too, too true.


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