6.4/10
959
20 user 15 critic

The Happy Ending (1969)

R | | Drama | 22 May 1970 (Ireland)
A middle-aged woman walks out on her husband and family in an desperate attempt to find herself.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writer:

Richard Brooks
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Simmons ... Mary Wilson
John Forsythe ... Fred Wilson
Shirley Jones ... Flo Harrigan
Lloyd Bridges ... Sam
Teresa Wright ... Mrs. Spencer
Dick Shawn ... Harry Bricker
Nanette Fabray ... Agnes
Bobby Darin ... Franco (as Robert Darin)
Tina Louise ... Helen Bricker
Kathy Fields Kathy Fields ... Marge Wilson
Karen Steele ... Divorcee
Gail Hensley Gail Hensley ... Betty
Eve Brent ... Ethel
William O'Connell ... Minister (as Wm. O'Connell)
Barry Cahill Barry Cahill ... Handsome Man
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Storyline

The triumphs and failures of middle age as seen through the eyes of runaway American housewife Mary Wilson (Jean Simmons), a woman who believes that ultimate reality exists above and beyond the routine procedures of conscious, uninspired, everyday life. She feels cheated by an older generation that taught her to settle for nothing less than storybook finales, people who are disillusioned and restless and don't know why, people for whom life holds no easy answers. Great supporting cast includes John Forsythe, Teresa Wright, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Bobby Darin, Tina Louise, Dick Shawn, and Nanette Fabray. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful face. Gorgeous body. Loving husband. A host of friends. But she's still missing everything a woman wants. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some substance abuse and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Teresa Wright was just 11 years older than Jean Simmons, who was playing her daughter. See more »

Goofs

During opening credit sequence, many late model 1960's cars can be seen in flashback scene supposedly set 15 years earlier. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Mary Wilson: If... if right now we were not married, if you were free, would you marry me again ?
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Connections

References Candid Camera (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? (End Title)
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
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User Reviews

 
In typically ironic '60s fashion, nobody here has the capacity for happiness
3 April 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Pauline Kael, film critic for the New Yorker, quipped about this film, "It's the kind of liberation movie that never liberated anyone." That's a clever line, but it isn't exactly true. Writer-director Richard Brooks shows the upwardly mobile as stiff dullards with drinks in their hands, the upper middle class as stifling bores. There's wry wit in these vignettes, but the trouble with Brooks' film is the central character. As played by Jean Simmons, she's one of those bored and lonely housewives who desires MORE! Simmons is repressed of her emotions, yet even when she makes her escape, she's still a pinchy drag. The supporting characters aren't written any better, but the performers themselves are more interesting: Bobby Darin is terrific as a phony gigolo, Tina Louise excellent as an acerbic society wife, Shirley Jones lovely as a single woman trying to remain casual about her married lover. John Forsythe gives his standard controlled performance as Simmons' confused spouse (he doesn't know how to reach her, which is a sympathetic quality since we don't either). The title means to tell us that we make our own happy endings--that we can't find them through other people--and the final scene between husband and wife is a tricky little chess-move that leaves us up in the air. I liked many things in "The Happy Ending", but its parts are better than the sum. **1/2 from ****


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1970 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

El amargo fin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pax Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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