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The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama | 9 November 1964 (USA)
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

Penelope Mortimer (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Bancroft ... Jo Armitage
Peter Finch ... Jake
James Mason ... Conway
Janine Gray ... Beth
Cedric Hardwicke ... Jo's Father
Rosalind Atkinson Rosalind Atkinson ... Jo's Mother
Alan Webb Alan Webb ... Jake's Father
Richard Johnson ... Giles
Maggie Smith ... Philpot
Eric Porter ... Psychiatrist
Cyril Luckham ... Doctor
Anthony Nicholls ... Surgeon
John Franklyn-Robbins ... Parson
John Junkin ... Undertaker
Yootha Joyce ... Woman at Hairdressers
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Storyline

Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three marriages, with only the youngest being Jake's biological child, although he treats them all as his own. Jo left her second husband Giles after meeting Giles' friend Jake, the two who were immediately attracted to each other. Their upper middle class life is much different than Giles and Jo's, who lived in a barn in the English countryside. But Jo is ruminating about her strained marriage to Jake, with issues on both sides. Jo suspects Jake of chronic infidelity, she only confronting him with her suspicions whenever evidence presents itself. And Jo's psychiatrist believes that Jo uses childbirth as a rationale for sex, which he believes she finds vulgar. These issues in combination have placed Jo in a fragile mental state. They both state that they love the other, but neither really seems to like ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How many others? Six...a dozen...what does the number matter? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esclava y seductora See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romulus Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film never explains its title, which refers to a traditional child's rhyme: "Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater/Had a wife, but couldn't keep her;/So he put her in a shell/And there he kept her very well." This serves as the epigraph of Penelope Mortimer's original novel. See more »

Goofs

When Jo rises from the couch while talking to her mother about her father's death, a shadow of the boom microphone moves across the wall above and behind her. See more »

Connections

Featured in Castaway (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Woman Under The Influence.
28 May 2006 | by seanodartofilmSee all my reviews

Great movies remain great movies some of them, like "The Pumpkin Eater" acquire an extra something with the passing of time. Harold Pinter does really extravagant things with Penelope Mortimer's novel and the extraordinary Jack Clayton gives it just the right mixture of human drama and sharp satire. Anne Bancroft is indescribable moving, beautiful, powerful, frightening. Peter Finch is also superb as is James Mason. I particularly enjoyed the brief moments with Yootha Joyce, Maggie Smith and Cederic Hardwicke. I advise all movie lovers in the Los Angeles area to check the American Cinematheque listings. I saw "The Pumpkin Eater" there, a beautifully restored print and reminded me when one went to the movies to see adult themes treated by intelligent adult artist with enormous regard for their audiences. Oh, those were the days.


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