EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HAPPY ENDING, THE (director/writer: Richard Brooks; cinematographer: Conrad L. Hall; editor: George Grenville; music: Michel Legrand; cast: Jean Simmons (Mary Wilson), John Forsythe (Fred Wilson), Lloyd Bridges (Sam), Teresa Wright (Mrs. Spencer), Dick Shawn (Harry Bricker), Nanette Fabray (Agnes), Robert Darin (Franco), Tina Louise (Helen Bricker), Kathy Fields (Marge Wilson), Gail Hensley (Betty), Shirley Jones (Flo), Eve Brent (Ethel), William O'Connell (Minister), Barry Cahill (Handsome Man), Miriam Blake (Cindy); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Richard Brooks; United Artists; 1969)|
melodrama about the trials and tribulations of a modern marriage."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Depressing melodrama about the trials and tribulations of a
modern marriage, that gets overwhelmed by the filmmaker's indulgences,
plodding screenplay and its undermining superficiality. It goes on
seemingly forever in a dreary way without offering much in
entertainment or enlightenment. It was a personal project for producer,
writer and director Richard Brooks ("In Cold Blood"/"Lord Jim"/"Bite
Bullet"), who was married at the time to star Jean Simmons and
specifically wrote the screenplay for her and included some of the
problems in their marriage (her character's problem was the same one
Jean was going through in real life).
Mary Wilson (Jean
Simmons) is a self-pitying
attractive middle-aged suburban Denver housewife who is unhappy after
16 years of marriage to her successful workaholic tax lawyer husband Fred (John Forsythe). Fred's neglect is eating away at her soul
and she feels unloved, therefore she resorts to booze, pill popping,
shopping sprees and watching old movies on TV to survive the loveless
marriage. Mary's also tired of bringing up their
teenaged daughter Marge (Kathy
Remembering their wild wedding-anniversary party last year, Mary
decides to not be there for this year's and goes instead alone to
Nassau to gather her thoughts. En route to Nassau Mary meets college roommate
Flo (Shirley Jones), who is on her way to meet Sam (Lloyd
Bridges)--another in a series of married men the partygirl attracts. In Nassau, Mary is
propositioned by Franco (Bobby Darin),
an American loser trying to get over as a Latin lover. Franco drops his
act when Mary reveals that she has no dough. On Mary's return to Denver, in what goes
for a happy ending in this woman's pic, Mary walks out on her
unperceptive hubby and goes off
alone in a search for herself--taking an apartment, getting a job and
enrolling in night school.
Jean Simmons received an
Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her sappy performance, the soap
opera film was also nominated for Best
Original Song for “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”
REVIEWED ON 4/2/2010 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ