A 1940s-set drama where an adulterous man plots his wife's death instead of putting her through the humiliation of a divorce.

Director:

Ira Sachs

Writers:

Ira Sachs (screenplay), Oren Moverman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Cooper ... Harry Allen
Annabel Kershaw ... Miss Jones
Pierce Brosnan ... Richard Langley
Patricia Clarkson ... Pat Allen
Rachel McAdams ... Kay Nesbitt
Sheila Paterson Sheila Paterson ... Mrs. Walsh
David Richmond-Peck ... Tom
Erin Boyes ... Becky
Elijah St. Germain Elijah St. Germain ... Little Charlie
Terence Kelly ... Dr. Anderson
Timothy Webber ... Alvin Walters
Rebecca Codling Rebecca Codling ... Photo Store Clerk
David Wenham ... John O'Brien
Dolores Drake ... Cinema Cashier
Malcolm Boddington Malcolm Boddington ... Well-Tailored Man
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Storyline

The late 1940s. Richard Langley, a bachelor playboy, narrates a story that starts when his best friend, Harry Allen, invites him to lunch to tell Richard he's in love. Trouble is, Harry's already married to Pat; he worries Pat would be hurt too deeply by a divorce. Then, Harry's new love, Kay, joins them. Richard is smitten, so when he finds out that Pat may be in love with someone else but won't tell Harry because she fears he would be too hurt, Richard can't decide if he should let all the cats out of the bag. He'd unite pairs of lovers, but he'd lose Kay. Meanwhile, Harry decides that a swift end to Pat's life would be more kind than divorcing her. He buys poison. Murder will out? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Do you know what really goes on in the mind of the person with whom you sleep?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie Pierce Brosnan is watching is East Side, West Side (1949) with James Mason as the cheating husband and Ava Gardner as his mistress. See more »

Goofs

In some driving scenes, the lines in the streets are yellow. Also some warning signs are in yellow, and placed higher on their respective poles. This is not correct for the 1940s. Lines were white. And signs were placed closer to street level for ease of viewing. See more »

Quotes

Richard Langley: I'm not at all certain that one can build happiness upon the unhappiness of someone else
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Soundtracks

Tanya
Written by Joe Liggins
Performed by Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers
Courtesy of Tuff City Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

 
A smart and insightful exploration of social mores
5 March 2008 | by suepsimonSee all my reviews

I love MARRIED LIFE!! It is a well crafted and beautifully written movie. By appearing to be a traditional noir, the film plays on the audience's expectations of the genre but then turns out to be something very different--something far more sad, funny and soulful. By having the traditional voice-over and haunting music at the outset, MARRIED LIFE subverts the viewer's expectations and draws us into a story that is utterly unique.

Characters in the film are not whom they appear to be--I like how all the leads are introduced as archetypes (e.g., the unhappily married business man, the cad, the long suffering wife, the pretty young widow) but each not only turns out to be different than expected, all four go through some sort of transition that deepens their humanity. They may be imperfect people and lacking in insight, but the audience feels empathy for their struggles. Given their array of poor choices, this is pretty amazing--their yearnings are poignant, even when their actions are deeply misguided. Humans are capable of being incredibly narcissistic and giving at the same time--the movie illustrates this with a mix of humor and pathos. The characters may be unable or unwilling to stop their most primal urges, yet we are rooting for them to find some happiness all the way to the end.

This film is wonderfully shot. Period details are rendered with loving care--whether it is the glorious costumes or the sweeping set design. Performances are top notch -- a true ensemble cast who look and sound like they are from a bygone era. A rich score magnifies the shifting moods without giving you whiplash. This is a complex movie that demands we see the world in shades of gray -- life is never simple. Especially married life!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marriage See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,851, 9 March 2008

Gross USA:

$1,507,990

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,888,315
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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