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The Bell Jar (1979)

As the horrors beneath the idealized 1950's come about, a successful young woman finds herself having a serious mental breakdown when she returns to New England.

Director:

Larry Peerce

Writers:

Marjorie Kellogg, Sylvia Plath (novel)
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The story of Sylvia Plath's seminal novel The Bell Jar as well as the parallels between her life and the book. The film includes an exclusive testimony from Sylvia Plath's daughter Frieda Hughes about her mother.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Hassett ... Esther Greenwood
Julie Harris ... Mrs. Greenwood
Anne Jackson ... Dr. Nolan
Barbara Barrie ... Jay Cee
Robert Klein ... Lenny
Donna Mitchell ... Joan
Mary Louise Weller ... Doreen
Jameson Parker ... Buddy Willard
Thaao Penghlis ... Marco
Scott McKay ... Mr. Gilling
Meg Mundy Meg Mundy ... Bea Ramsey
Carole Monferdini Carole Monferdini ... Hilda
Debbie McLeod ... Betsy
Elizabeth Hubbard Elizabeth Hubbard ... Vikki St. John
Karen Howard Karen Howard ... Toni LaBouchere
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Storyline

Details a young woman's summer in New York working for a Mademoiselle-like magazine, return home to New England, and subsequent breakdown all amidst the horrors of the fifties, from news of the Rosenbergs' execution to sleazy disc jockeys and predatory college boys. Written by Remy <rholzer@ammi.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes just being a woman is an act of courage.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1979 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Canção para Uma Louca See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Larry Peerce and star Marilyn Hassett were married at the time of production. See more »

Goofs

New York taxis, (unlike L.A. cabs) do not now nor did they ever have their telephone numbers on them. See more »

Quotes

Esther Greenwood: To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 16 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »


Soundtracks

Here Comes The Night
Written and Performed by Janis Ian
Produced by Janis Ian and Ronald Frangipane
Arranged and Conducted by Ronald Frangipane (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What could they possibly have been thinking?
8 October 2001 | by aromatic-2See all my reviews

Jameson Parker And Marilyn Hassett are the screen's most unbelievable couple since John Travolta and Lily Tomlin. Larry Peerce's direction wavers uncontrollably between black farce and Roman tragedy. Robert Klein certainly think it's the former and his self-centered performance in a minor role underscores the total lack of balance and chemistry between the players in the film. Normally, I don't like to let myself get so ascerbic, but The Bell Jar is one of my all-time favorite books, and to watch what they did with it makes me literally crazy.


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