6.9/10
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16 user 12 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

Writer:

Edward Albee (play)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Katharine Hepburn ... Agnes
Paul Scofield ... Tobias
Lee Remick ... Julia
Kate Reid ... Claire
Joseph Cotten ... Harry
Betsy Blair ... Edna
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | UK

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hume Cronyn was nominated for the 1967 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "A Delicate Balance" as the character Tobias. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
a tremendous tour de force
14 July 2004 | by film_ophileSee all my reviews

What a tremendous production! I had avoided seeing it because I thought it might be too brutal. It is certainly merciless in the dialogue between hateful sisters, but there is much more to the film than that. The writing is so very many-splendoured; some of the lines (Katharine Hepburn has the best ones) sound like Shakespeare and Albee even makes a self-referential joke about that after one of Claire's declarations.The cinematography contributes greatly to the liveliness of this stage drama; it is never dull or boring. Mesmerizing performances all around; terrifically complex and deep questioning of life's meaning and the value of love, loyalty, friendship, family. An unqualified 10 for me. The DVD has very interesting contemporary interviews with Albee and the cinematographer, and text from a very helpful review.


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