7.3/10
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34 user 24 critic

Drowning by Numbers (1988)

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1:24 | Clip
Three generations of women all share the same problem: marriage woes, and they want to put an end to it.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Plowright ... Cissie Colpitts 1
Juliet Stevenson ... Cissie Colpitts 2
Joely Richardson ... Cissie Colpitts 3
Bernard Hill ... Madgett
Jason Edwards ... Smut
Bryan Pringle ... Jake
Trevor Cooper ... Hardy
David Morrissey ... Bellamy
John Rogan John Rogan ... Gregory
Paul Mooney Paul Mooney ... Teigan
Jane Gurnett Jane Gurnett ... Nancy
Kenny Ireland Kenny Ireland ... Jonah Bognor
Michael Percival Michael Percival ... Moses Bognor
Joanna Dickens Joanna Dickens ... Mrs. Hardy
Janine Duvitski Janine Duvitski ... Marina Bellamy
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Storyline

Tired of her husband's philandering ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is covered up. Her daughters are having similar problems with relationships, and tend to follow their mother's example, and the coroner becomes reluctantly involved in their murders as well. As the plot progresses, visual and spoken numbers appear in the scenes, counting from one to 100. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The great death game.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for numerous scenes of nudity and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conspiración de mujeres See more »

Filming Locations:

Suffolk, England, UK

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$424,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The composition of the shot of Hardy's death mimics the painting by Andrea Mantegna called 'The Lamentation Over A Dead Christ (1480)'. See more »

Quotes

Smut: The object of this game is to dare to fall with a noose around your neck from a place sufficiently high enough off the ground, such that the fall will hang you. The object of the game is to punish those who have caused great unhappiness by their selfish actions. This is the best game of all, because the winner is also the loser, and the judge's decision is always final.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Peter Greenaway in Indianapolis (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

2nd Movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra K354
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Alexander Balanescu (violin) and Jonathan Carney (viola)
See more »

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User Reviews

avoid pan-n-scan version
31 May 2000 | by johan-77See all my reviews

I saw the movie at a local art-house cinema, and was instantly converted to the church of Greenaway/Nyman. I raved so much about it that my philestine friends finally agreed to rent it.

Of course, the rented version was pan-n-scanned. It was truly awful. As bad as the original was good. Much of the Greenawaynian charm is his flair for composing scenes visually. Pan-scanning deprives you of almost all the fun. Besides whoever did the pan scanning didn't get the spot-the-numbers game. Several were lost out of frame.

Don't bother renting it on VHS. Maybe the DVD will get it right. Until then, ask the Brattle or your local cinema paradiso to show you it in all its glory.


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