6.1/10
236
19 user 8 critic

Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971)

A family reacts to the return of the patriarch who abandoned them seven years prior.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (play), Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Rod Steiger ... Harold Ryan
Susannah York ... Penelope Ryan
George Grizzard ... Dr. Norbert Woodley
Don Murray ... Herb Shuttle
William Hickey ... Looseleaf Harper
Steven Paul ... Paul Ryan
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Wanda June
Pamela Saunders Pamela Saunders ... Mildred Ryan
Louis Turenne Louis Turenne ... Major von Koningswald
C.C. Whitney C.C. Whitney ... Mrs. Kestenbaum
Lester Goldsmith Lester Goldsmith ... Mr. Kestenbaum (as Lester M. Goldsmith)
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Storyline

A family reacts to the return of the patriarch who abandoned them seven years prior.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Happy Birthday, Wanda June See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. opened at the Edison Theater on December 22, 1970, ran for 96 performances and closed on March 14, 1971. See more »

Quotes

Penelope Ryan: Doctor Woodley, I would like you to meet Harold, my husband. Harold, I would like you to meet Doctor Woodley, my fiancé. Goodnight dear
[kisses Harold]
Penelope Ryan: goodnight dear
[kisses Dr Woodley]
Penelope Ryan: . Stay or go; talk or sulk; laugh or cry - as you wish. Do whatever seems called for. My mind is gone. Good night.
[she closes and locks door]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 to the Moon (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

The Man Who Dropped The Bomb on Nagasaki
12 April 2004 | by ubercommandoSee all my reviews

I'll be the third person to comment on this movie; seems like like an exclusive club. Anyway, this is a very strange movie; Vonnegut does black comedy and touches on ideas he put in "Slaughterhouse Five". I saw this movie about 20 years ago, late at night on television, and it says a lot that although it's never going to be in my top 50 list, every so often I recall it and smile. Steiger is an egotistical, Iron John type adventurer and explorer who abandoned his wife to go off exploring with his friend, played by William Hickey (who was the man who dropped the atom bomb on Nagasaki, not Hiroshima, as the previous person said) and was missing, presumed dead for 7 years. Steiger thinks he can just waltz back into everyone's lives again and they'll all come running to him, but the reality is very different. Interspersed with this are cut aways to a little girl in Heaven called Wanda June who never got her big birthday party while she was living. Memory has dulled why her character and story is significant. One of the funniest scenes is where Steiger and Hickey enter their favourite bar after years away and the bartender yells out "Hey! This is the guy that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki!": A Japanese businessman looks on with contempt and backs away but a bearded hippy says "wow, I always wanted to meet you, man!"


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