7.0/10
1,187
25 user 13 critic

Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

A housewife with an abusive husband has an affair with a writer.

Director:

Frank Perry

Writers:

Eleanor Perry (screenplay by), Sue Kaufman (from the novel by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Benjamin ... Jonathan Balser
Frank Langella ... George Prager
Carrie Snodgress ... Tina Balser
Lorraine Cullen Lorraine Cullen ... Sylvie Balser
Frannie Michel Frannie Michel ... Liz Balser
Lee Addoms Lee Addoms ... Mrs. Prinz
Peter Dohanos Peter Dohanos ... Samuel Keefer
Katherine Meskill Katherine Meskill ... Charlotte Rady
Leonard Elliott Leonard Elliott ... M. Henri
Valma Valma ... Margo
Hilda Haynes Hilda Haynes ... Lottie
Donald Symington Donald Symington ... Pediatrician (as Don Symington)
Alley Mills ... Women's lib girl (as Allison Mills)
Alice Cooper ... Himself (as The Alice Cooper Band)
Neal Smith Neal Smith ... Himself (as The Alice Cooper Band)
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Storyline

Tina Balser is a bored New York housewife-mother married to Jonathan, a pompous, social-climbing lawyer who ridicules her in front of their children, criticizing everything she does or wears. She begins an affair with George Prager, a dashing, successful and blatantly sadistic writer. Finally after George has tormented Tina in much the same manner Jonathan has, and has been unfaithful to boot, she goes back to her husband and begins group therapy. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I, Tina Balser, Housewife, Did Not Do My Chores Today. I Did...Something Else! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1970 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Diario de una esposa desesperada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frank Perry Films Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The scene in which Alice Cooper tore open pillows and threw the feathers (in addition to bottles of champagne and fire extinguishers) all over the crowd was not spur of the moment or intended just for the film. This was the band's famous gimmick at the beginning, whatever objects they found, they used on each other and the audience. This gimmick was one that earned them the infamous reputation not too long before as "chicken killers". This was probably why Frank Perry asked them to do the movie. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Balser: How about a little roll in the hay?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original version runs 104 minutes. Alternate TV version was prepared by director Frank Perry substituting different footage for many sequences; this version runs 95 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Wheel of the Worst #7 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride With Me Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Mars Bonfire
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Four Star Sleeper
18 August 2001 | by rwintSee all my reviews

Brilliant, perceptive look at isolation. Story works on multiple levels from offbeat comedy, to drama, satire, and even feminist viewpoint. It's all rather low key, but slowly builds for a strong impact. Centers around a upper middle class New York housewife who becomes increasingly frustrated at the alienation from her husband, children, and his friends. For a escape she has a affair with a man (Langella) that seems exciting and different, but in the end treats her just as poorly. Ultimately she comes to the conclusion that under the facade he and many others are just as disconnected. Film works on the basic perception that isolation is a definite reality of modern living. Terrific ending puts it all into perspective. Takes some good satirical jabs at the 'upwardly mobile', also has good color detail and a interesting visual style. Snodgrass's performance is excellent in a rather difficult role. Forced to put on a 'happy face' by her obnoxious ,social climbing husband she is still able to convey her frustrations to the viewer through body language, voice tones, and facial expressions. A four star sleeper and one of Frank and Eleanor Perry's most complete work. For TV some scenes were taken out while others added making it slightly different from the theatrical version. For instance in the TV version Snodgrass meets Langella while walking her dog. In the theatrical version she meets him at a party.


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