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'night, Mother (1986)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 January 1987 (Australia)
What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Moore

Writers:

Marsha Norman (play), Marsha Norman (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sissy Spacek ... Jessie Cates
Anne Bancroft ... Thelma Cates
Ed Berke Ed Berke ... Dawson Cates
Carol Robbins Carol Robbins ... Loretta Cates
Jennifer Roosendahl Jennifer Roosendahl ... Melodie Cates
Michael Kenworthy Michael Kenworthy ... Kenny Cates
Sari Walker Sari Walker ... Agnes Fletcher
Claire Malis Claire Malis ... Operator (voice)
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Storyline

What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, Jessie, has had it. A middle-aged epileptic unable to hold a job or drive with a failed marriage and a drug-addicted runaway son on the wrong side of the law, Jessie can find no reason to go on living. Adapted from the play by Marsha Norman, "'night, Mother" is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. How can Thelma convince her daughter that life is worth living if she can't feel her pain? How can she end her daughter's embrace of death before morning? Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>/Reid Taylor

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in 1983. It was a rare and remarkable theatrical experience. Controversial. Provocative. And shocking. Now, two Academy Award-winning actresses make the Pulitzer Prize-winning play the motion picture event of the year.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1987 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Boa Noite Mãe See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,164, 14 September 1986

Gross USA:

$441,863

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$441,863
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite being backed by a major studio and with major performers as its leads, the film had extremely limited theatrical distribution, playing at only 35 theaters in its widest release. This marketing decision may have been motivated by the film's controversial storyline. See more »

Quotes

Thelma: People don't kill themselves, Jessie. It's doesn't make sense, unless you're retarded or deranged, and you're as normal as they come, Jessie, for the most part. We're all afraid to die!
Jessie: I'm not, Mama. It's exactly what I want. It's dark and quiet.
Thelma: So's the backyard, Jessie.
Jessie: So quiet, I don't know it's quiet, so nobody can get me.
Thelma: Dead might not be quiet at all, Jessie. What if it's like an alarm clock, and you can't wake up, so you can't shut it off... ever!
Jessie: Dead is everbody and everything I ...
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Totally believable,totally haunting.
20 January 1999 | by deb-25See all my reviews

Only people who have seriously considered suicide as an option can fully understand this movie. It is dark but it is from the perspective of a realist and is performed brilliantly. Both actresses are totally believable. I saw this movie in "87" and it has haunted me ever since.


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