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450 user 146 critic

The Cider House Rules (1999)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 7 January 2000 (USA)
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A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

John Irving (novel), John Irving (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,669 ( 61)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobey Maguire ... Homer Wells
Charlize Theron ... Candy Kendall
Delroy Lindo ... Mr. Rose
Paul Rudd ... Wally Worthington
Michael Caine ... Dr. Wilbur Larch
Jane Alexander ... Nurse Edna
Kathy Baker ... Nurse Angela
Erykah Badu ... Rose Rose
Kieran Culkin ... Buster
Kate Nelligan ... Olive Worthington
Heavy D ... Peaches
K. Todd Freeman ... Muddy
Paz de la Huerta ... Mary Agnes
J.K. Simmons ... Ray Kendall
Evan Parke ... Jack (as Evan Dexter Parke)
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Storyline

Homer is an orphan in remote St. Cloud, Maine. Never adopted, he becomes the favorite of orphanage director Dr. Larch, who imparts his full medical knowledge on Homer, who becomes a skilled, albeit unlicensed, physician. But Homer yearns for a self-chosen life outside the orphanage. When Wally and pregnant Candy visit the orphanage Dr. Larch provides medically safe, albeit illegal, abortions Homer leaves with them to work on Wally's family apple farm. Wally goes off to war, leaving Homer and Candy alone together. What will Homer learn about life and love in the cider house? What of the destiny that Dr. Larch has planned for him? Written by Martin Lewison <MLewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story about how far we must travel to find the place where we belong.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexuality, nudity, substance abuse and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las reglas de la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Vermont, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,098, 12 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,545,092

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$88,545,092
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liv Tyler and Tori Spelling were considered for the role of Candy Kendall. See more »

Goofs

As the train pulls up to the station at the beginning of the film the clang of the bell on the train corresponds to the engineer pulling the lanyard to swing the bell except for the last clang, the lanyard is not pulled. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Opening narration; a couple of snippets of interspersed dialog are omitted]
Dr. Wilbur Larch: In other parts of the world young men leave home and travel far and wide in search of a promising future. Their journeys are often fueled by dreams of triumphing over evil, finding a great love, or the hopes of fortunes easily made. Here in St. Cloud's not even the decision to get off the train is easily made, for it requires an earlier, more difficult decision - add a child to your life, or leave one ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

All I Want Is Just One Girl
Composed by Leo Robin / Richard A. Whiting
Performed by Gus Arnheim and His Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors
Published by Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Poignant and powerful
19 August 2000 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

Nineteen ninety-nine was an outstanding year for adaptations of major literary works, but of all the great books that came to the screen last year, this is my favorite. John Irving's novel and adaptation is one of the most complete stories I can remember in many years. It is poignant, exhilarating, and astutely human in its scope, presenting a myriad of human emotions and experiences.

Often, when a story attempts to cross genres so broadly, it fails from lack of depth or insufficiency of the writer or director to meet the variable demands of such a wide-ranging treatment. This film was a comedy, a tragedy, a romance, a human-interest story, a character study, and a period piece, and each element was excellently done.

This was all accomplished without sacrificing the philosophical and emotional depth Irving imbues in all his works. Irving weaves a strong moral into this story; that rules need to be questioned and that being human is not so easily codified. He revisits this theme repeatedly, with each character facing dilemmas regarding societal and personal rules that are difficult to reconcile in the given situations.

If there is one thing that stands out about this story, it is its human realism. These are ordinary people struggling with problems we all face. We come to have affection for almost all of them, and can identify with their tribulations. Although the story is excessively sentimental and fatalistic, it reminds us that life is complicated and doesn't always turn out the way we plan or hope.

From a filmmaking perspective, we could not have asked more from Lasse Hallstrom. Known most in the U.S. for his direction of ‘What's Eating Gilbert Grape', Hallstrom has been making wonderful films in Europe for almost twenty years. However, this film will certainly go down as his finest work. In the featurette on the DVD, he said that when he goes to Blockbuster with his daughter and sees it on the shelf, he will have a feeling of pride; and well he should.

This motion picture was beautifully filmed with rich cinematography, breathtaking locations, and precise period props and costumes. However, the greatest achievement for Hallstrom, working in concert with Irving, was to orchestrate a large cast in such a way that no character seemed insignificant. Hallstrom took great care to do enough development of each character (often just visually without any dialogue) that he made us care for each of them. He gave the film an emotional depth and breadth that is difficult to achieve in two hours. His work with the children in the orphanage was superb, bringing forth their innocence and enthusiasm without minimizing their plight.

The acting was uniformly outstanding. Tobey Maguire infused Homer with the right combination of idealism, naiveté and inner strength to make him an unassuming but powerful lead. Charlize Theron continues to impress me with her acting ability. Besides her enchanting girl-next-door attractiveness, she showed terrific range in a character that at first seemed shallow, but later proved to be quite complex.

Michael Caine has had a legendary career spanning close to half a century. He has long been one of my favorite actors. His performance here was powerful and well deserving of the acclaim he received. Dr. Larch was an extremely complex character; egotistical, self-abusive, manipulative and recalcitrant, yet a saintly, self-sacrificing and loving crusader for the good of the children. Caine's ability to span that range was remarkable.

Finally, I have the highest praise for Delroy Lindo as Mr. Rose, the orchard foreman. Lindo's bright smile and enthusiasm created a rock solid character with charm, strength and simple wisdom. He captures our admiration immediately, and despite his despicable act, we cannot help but pity him in the end.

After having seen all the films that were nominated by the Academy for best picture last year, I have to say that this was my personal favorite. It wasn't as flashy as the rest; in fact, this was downright old fashioned in its approach. They just don't write stories like this anymore, and that's a shame. I rated it a 10/10. In its quiet way, it captured my heart.


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