7.2/10
7,485
35 user 25 critic

Drowning by Numbers (1988)

R | | Comedy, Drama | June 1991 (USA)
Clip
1:24 | Clip
Three generations of women all share the same problem: marriage woes, and they want to put an end to it.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writer:

Peter Greenaway
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Plowright ... Cissie Colpitts 1
Juliet Stevenson ... Cissie Colpitts 2
Joely Richardson ... Cissie Colpitts 3
Bernard Hill ... Madgett
Jason Edwards ... Smut
Bryan Pringle ... Jake
Trevor Cooper ... Hardy
David Morrissey ... Bellamy
John Rogan John Rogan ... Gregory
Paul Mooney Paul Mooney ... Teigan
Jane Gurnett Jane Gurnett ... Nancy
Kenny Ireland Kenny Ireland ... Jonah Bognor
Michael Percival ... Moses Bognor
Joanna Dickens Joanna Dickens ... Mrs. Hardy
Janine Duvitski ... Marina Bellamy
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Storyline

Tired of her husband's philandering ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is covered up. Her daughters are having similar problems with relationships, and tend to follow their mother's example, and the coroner becomes reluctantly involved in their murders as well. As the plot progresses, visual and spoken numbers appear in the scenes, counting from one to 100. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The great death game.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for numerous scenes of nudity and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conspiración de mujeres See more »

Filming Locations:

Suffolk, England, UK

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$424,773

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$424,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The license number plate on Madgett's car is NID-26 B/W, same as the crashed car in the beginning of A Zed & Two Noughts (1985). See more »

Quotes

Cissie Colpitts 1: The flies are settling on him.
Madgett: Well, shoo them off. Use a newspaper.
Cissie Colpitts 1: Madgett, I'm in need of legal aid, not a flyswatter.
See more »


Soundtracks

2nd Movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra K354
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Alexander Balanescu (violin) and Jonathan Carney (viola)
See more »

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User Reviews

Games
22 July 2000 | by tedgSee all my reviews

One woman in three bodies. Games about death, with death as a rule, and as a consequence. Life as this game and vice versa. The scoring of the game, the ruling of the script according to numbers. Sequential skipping through the numbers as a way of adumbrating the game to tell a story.

Another masterpiece from Greenaway, his most accessible in my view. But that makes it a lesser work compared to his others, because the story is perfectly comprehensible. One can see how his notion of structured visual allegory with narrative footnotes starts to emerge here. The latest I have seen at this writing is The Pillow Book where this is all so much more elaborate and integrated into the narrative. But this film still charms. I wish I could personally thank the financier.


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