Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ...
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Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.
Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to meeting the latest in a long string of blind dates, his name being Pete Seltzer. Pete and Tillie are not a match made in heaven, he using wisecracking and constant flirtations with women to mask his own insecurities about his average looks and not wanting to deal with life head on. Despite Tillie's guard being up with regard to Pete, he is able slowly to chip away at her defenses. They do embark on a relationship which ends up in a straightforward and somewhat mutual declaration that they will get married despite their fundamental differences. But can their relationship survive these fundamental differences, which don't change during the course of their marriage, and as they deal with the terminal malignant tumor diagnosis of their nine-year old son, Robbie?Written by
The song Strangers In The Night, first recorded in 1966, is heard on a jukebox in a scene set several years earlier. See more »
I wasn't looking forward to this party - or meeting Pete Seltzer. But when you've reached my age and your friends are beginning to worry about you, blind dates are a way of life.
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Pete 'n' Tillie may provide the most unromantic view of marriage ever put on the
big screen. Two players best known for comedy roles, Walter Matthau and Carol
Burnett play the title roles who are a pair of thirty somethings who kind of just
fall into marriage because they don't want to end up alone.
They have a son played by Lee Harcourt Montgomery who is taken from them.
The question is, can their marriage survive this unspeakable tragedy?
Matthau who does have a bit of wit an extension of his real persona in life gets
by with it. He's a philanderer by nature, but he always comes home.
There is some moment of high drama in Pete 'n' Tillie especially coming from
Burnett. When her son dies and her breakdown comes, you really do forget
you are watching one of the great comic talents of the female gender ever.
Comedy however did get Geraldine Page an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a very vain woman who was the original matchmaker
for Matthau and Burnett. Burnett and Page square off after Page has a bad
moment in a police station, the best female bout since Marlene Dietrich and
Una Merkel went at each other in Destry Rides Again. Pete 'n' Tillie also got
a nomination for best adapted screenplay.
There's also a very nice turn by Rene Auberjonois as a gay friend of Burnett's
who offers her a different kind of marital arrangement with two people who
do like each other.
After over 45 years Pete 'n' Tillie holds up very well. It should because the
story is timeless.
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