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A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 4 June 1972 (USA)
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A couple uses extremely black comedy to survive taking care of a daughter who is nearly completely brain dead. They take turns doing the daughter's voice and stare into the eyes of death ... See full summary »

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(play), (screenplay)
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Bri
... Sheila
... Freddie
... Pam
... Grace
Elizabeth Robillard ... Jo
... Doctor
Fanny Carby ... Nun
... Moonrocket Lady
Elizabeth Tyrrell ... Midwife
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Storyline

A couple uses extremely black comedy to survive taking care of a daughter who is nearly completely brain dead. They take turns doing the daughter's voice and stare into the eyes of death and emotional trauma with a humor that hides their pain. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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The award-winning play is now on the screen

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joe Egg  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nicknames of Josephine (Elizabeth Robillard) were "Jo" / "Joe" and "Joe Egg". See more »

Quotes

Bri: When the kitten was born, Sheila wanted to call him Dick but I drew the line there. Well, I mean standing on the front steps late at night shouting "Dick! Dick!", I might have got killed in the rush!
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User Reviews

 
lost masterpiece
12 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

Another masterpiece that needs a DVD release but some libraries have the VHS and well worth seeking out. Just a brilliant play about many things, foremost being euthanasia, "respectability", religion, and fundamental human relationships. The script effectively uses intelligent humor not only to cope with an issue like a severely disabled child, but to bind the parents in their love for "Jo" and each other. As the couple, Alan Bates and Janet Suzman are perfectly matched both in acting virtuosity and in bringing their deep, intelligent characters to life.

I've recently seen Bates' brilliant performance in "Butley" which was released as a film a couple years after "Joe Egg" and he plays a teacher in both, cynical, intellectual, and funny, although Butley is much darker than his character of Bry here. If you throw in such great performances in "The Go-Between", "Women in Love", "Whistle Down the Wind", "The Caretaker" and "Georgy Girl," not to mention the more obvious "King of Hearts" and "Zorba the Greek", and I'd say that Alan Bates had a career comparable to Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney, and the other great British actors of his era.

Director Peter Medak also had one of my all-time favorites "The Ruling Class" released the same year (1972) as "Joe Egg", which comprises a career year in anybody's book. He's had kind of a spotty filmography("The Krays" was another highlight), but these two gems will mark him as a great director.


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