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4.3 out of 5 stars28
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 20 January 2011
A woman (Anne Bancroft) who has five children leaves her second husband (Richard Johnson) to marry a struggling screenwriter (Peter Finch). After having a sixth child by him, their marriage begins to unravel, in part, due to his infidelities. Directed by Jack Clayton (ROOM AT THE TOP) from the Penelope Mortimer novel, this is an incisive character study of a woman whose obsession with having children may have more to do with distaste for sex and using children as the justification for it rather than a passion for motherhood. After her third marriage, she sends two of her oldest boys to boarding school and seems to forget about them. Bancroft is sensational here in what may well be her best performance (she won the Cannes film festival best actress award). Whether wound up or passive, she inhabits this complicated woman with all her nuances and contradictions. It's a fierce performance. The delicate score is by Georges Delerue. The excellent supporting cast includes James Mason (superb as always), Maggie Smith, Cedric Hardwicke, Janine Gray and Yootha Joyce in a disturbing portrait of a woman undone.

The Sony DVD from Great Britain sports an excellent B&W transfer in its appropriate wide screen ratio.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 August 2011
This astonishing version of the famous novel - scripted by Pinter- is an extraordinary achievement. Almost relentless in its portrayal of the pain incurred in a failed marriage the film is almost too difficult to watch at times and shows how great British cinema once was. Compared to the majority of new films produced in this country today, The Pumpkin Eaters is in a class of its own. Finch and Bancroft give outstanding performances which are brilliantly detailed and nuanced. The photography and direction are outstanding and the DVD transfer first class in terms of both sound and image. This is essential viewing for anyone seriously interested in theatre, drama or the problems which can challenge human relationships! And as for the cameo from Yootha Joyce - it has to be seen ot be believed !
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on 3 September 2010
It's such good news that some of the less high profile British films of the 60s are now being released on DVD. This particular title is long overdue and the quality in terms of sound and picture on this DVD are top notch.

This is an extremely stylish film based on Penelope Mortimer's autobiographical novel about the trauma a woman goes through in her marriage to an unfaithful husband.

The beautiful, melancholic Georges Delerue soundtrack deserves an Oscar of its own. Beautifully photographed in black and white. Superbly acted.

A film like this is so far away from the trite rubbish that passes for cinema today. An adult film, sensitively made, about the adult issue of two people who love each other but are unable to make their marriage work.

Anne Bancroft rises to every note. Of particular note is her flawless English accent. Peter Finch as her meandering husband also gives a sensitive and under-stated performance.

If you liked some of the great British classics of this era, such as The Servant, Darling and Georgie Girl, this is definitely a film to add to your collection. In fact, you'll treasure it.
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on 25 April 2013
Forgotten and neglected masterpiece of 60s cinema. Top drawer performances by Peter Finch, James Mason and an early outing for Maggie Smith. Plus Anne Bancroft's greatest acting role. Superlative intelligent direction from Jack Clayton and fine editing and cinematography. Get it.
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on 30 November 2011
This film is as good as the reviews promised.

If you like Sunday Bloody Sunday I think you will enjoy this film. There is a great cameo from Maggie Smith.

Anne Bancroft's accent sounds a bit odd sometimes. I love all the character actors, the old men who play the fathers and are never seen again.
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on 14 November 2011
A mother of eight children finds her third marriage rocky when she discovers her husband is having affairs.It gets a bit irritating in places due to vivid scenes about silly people,but its very well acted.Its star studded cast Anne Bancroft,Peter Finch,James Mason,Maggie Smith,Cedric Hardwicke,Richard Johnson And Eric Porter make this a memorable film.Its writer Harold Pinter and direction Jack Clayton Make it solid and Intelligent.
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on 16 December 2011
Like the great works of Cassavetes, this seems to come from some parallel universe where films for intelligent adults are standard procedure. There's very little that's obviously arty, but also none of the usual mainstream pap, just some key fragments from the characters' lives presented without pedantic expositions, implausibly transformative 'arcs' or phoney empathy. Aside from Cassavetes, I know of nothing else remotely like it in film history and more's the pity.

See it.
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on 24 November 2010
This is one of my favourite films and I'm so glad it has finally come to DVD - stunning performances by Bancroft and Finch and one of Harold Pinter's best scripts. An absolute classic.
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on 28 June 2014
This DVD of the film is the very best quality, the cinematography is exceptional, the acting superb, some may find the story heavy going it is but intelligently handled it is totally engrossing . The tears down my cheek at the end an expression of heartfelt emotion, a genuinely moving film experience..
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on 18 September 2011
I had to explain to my partner,before the film,whom Anne Bancroft was and what a well respected actor she was back in the 60's - lets just say I was not disappointed and she is ably supported in this film by some fantastic male leads.I would say this film is really an historical look back into the style and manner of the 60's - much like 'If'or 'The Servant' - its a bygone age,stylish,elegant and interesting to see that social divisions were far more easily defined than they are today.
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