6.9/10
608
16 user 14 critic

A Delicate Balance (1973)

PG | | Drama | April 1976 (UK)
A well-to-do Connecticut family is upended when the grown daughter's godparents, seized by a nameless terror, decide to come live with them.

Director:

Tony Richardson

Writers:

Edward Albee (play), Edward Albee (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Love Among the Ruins (TV Movie 1975)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging actress is being sued for breach of promise. She hires as her lawyer a man who was an ex-lover, and is still in love with her, although she doesn't know it. She realizes that the ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier, Colin Blakely
Laura Lansing Slept Here (TV Movie 1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A famous, pampered novelist accepts a bet suggesting that she can't survive one week of living with an average family.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Karen Austin, Brenda Forbes
The Glass Menagerie (TV Movie 1973)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Amanda Wingfield dominates her children with her faded gentility and exaggerated tales of her Southern belle past. Her son plans escape; her daughter withdraws into a dream world. When a "... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Harvey
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Sam Waterston, Joanna Miles
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In a Manhattan psychiatric hospital a man, convinced he is Sherlock Holmes, is treated by a female doctor who happens to be named Watson.

Director: Anthony Harvey
Stars: George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, Jack Gilford
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life by introducing her to the outside world.

Director: Guy Green
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The women of Troy face enslavement after the fall of their city.

Director: Michael Cacoyannis
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Geneviève Bujold
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Van Johnson
Rhinoceros (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A boozing young man in love with his co-worker finds that everyone around him, even his pompous and condescending best friend, is changing into a rhinoceros.

Director: Tom O'Horgan
Stars: Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Karen Black
Wise Blood (1979)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Southerner--young, poor, ambitious but uneducated--determines to become something in the world. He decides that the best way to do that is to become a preacher and start up his own church.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Brad Dourif, John Huston, Dan Shor
Morituri (1965)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A war pacifist is blackmailed to pose as an SS officer and to disable the scuttling explosives on freighter carrying rubber cargo to be captured by the Allies.

Director: Bernhard Wicki
Stars: Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Janet Margolin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At the end of a long and hot summer day, members of one family gather in a large house. Everyone has something painful and offensive to say, and their silence is even worse.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Agnes
Paul Scofield ... Tobias
Lee Remick ... Julia
Kate Reid ... Claire
Joseph Cotten ... Harry
Betsy Blair ... Edna
Edit

Storyline

In Connecticut, Agnes and Tobias are an upper-class married couple whose relationship has been uneasy for many years, since at least the time their son died; but they've managed to find a certain comfortable pattern of uneasiness. Agnes's sister, Claire, lives with them and insists that her perpetual drinking is not alcoholism but willfulness. Their daughter, Julia, poised to have her fourth divorce, has come back home. Unexpectedly, her room has been taken over by Harry and Edna, best friends of Tobias and Agnes. Seized by a nameless terror that propelled them out of their own house, Harry and Edna have decided to stay. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The sister who drank too much. The daughter who divorced too much. They're all there when Tobias and Agnes have their little get-together and tear-apart.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Balansgång See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Adapted from a play by Edward Albee. The original Broadway production, starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York on Sept. 12, 1966, ran for 132 performances and was nominated for the 1967 Tony Award for the Best Play. See more »

Quotes

Agnes: Time! Time happens, I suppose, to people. Everything becomes... too late, finally. You know it's going on up on the hill; you can see the dust, and hear the cries, and the steel... but you wait, and time happens. When you do go, sword, shield... finally... there's nothing there... save rust, bones and the wind.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Far-out Psycho-drama
13 June 2007 | by director-201See all my reviews

A film with that name simply has to deal with a marriage. Most especially if it's from the 1970s and stars Katharine Hepburn and Paul Scofield. This drama concerns the most fragile relationship we could imagine, a sharp edge of lost youth and icy pain tinging the whole narrative from the very beginning. It's an Edward Albee play and it won a Pulitzer, so the writing is effective, the relationship mechanisms are intricate and run deep, the characters introduced into to the realm of the sad couple are perfectly cast, and alcohol has a strong presence. I found myself fascinated by how the delivery and contents of the conversations made me cringe uncomfortably.

Let's compare it to John Cleese, but let's skip the humor

I suspectthat A Delicate Balance would not quite be recommended by today's media-happy cinema, it would simply be acknowledged as a masterpiece, albeit a depressing one. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the film:

"They say we dream to let the mind go raving mad."

"There's nothing here but rust and bones."

"Such silent sad disgusting love…"

The following dialogue snippet plays the control and submission game well:

Agnes (Hepburn): You are NOT young now, and you do NOT live at home.

Tobias (Scofield): Where do I live?

Hepburn: In the deep dark place…

So, there is quite a bit of malice and strange ticks that come from years of not speaking about what needs attention, and instead dealing with only the perceived pleasant, which eventually becomes unpleasant and slowly rots. In the end, some marriages end up this way- if you decide to rent this movie, be warned that some of the tactics of subliminal knife-throwing are dangerously poignant and we can recognize them, if not in ourselves, but in the couple next door, or that guy that we know, or the newlyweds bickering in the grocery store.

Love is attainable- be assured. There is effort to life, however, and we can only get better if we continue to strive towards enlightenment, and it starts at home and with our close ones.

This film came out in 1973, which is my favorite time of cinema, perhaps because that decade was my first, and I know that I was influenced by all types of signs of the times at the time- music, literature, cinema, news, clothing. There was a stoic way of looking psychotherapy in the eye and not being afraid of getting a little depressed or depressing, embracing the dull and dysfunctional, if you will: like the storyline of the Ice Storm, or Bergman's Cries and Whispers. (As I understand, even Bergman declined to direct the movie version of A Delicate Balance- perhaps he was in a bad marriage himself?) Hollywood of the 1970s was more about truth than the bottom line, making it an excellent time for Albee and his keen sense of the psycho-drama.

Watch it: A Delicate Balance. It will leave you dumbfounded and with a metallic taste in your mouth, as if something unwanted but ever-present entered your soul to remind you about the perils of lost youth and unspoken love.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed