You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Pumpkin Eater

Harold Pinter's screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter's resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton's direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace quickens as the drama becomes more intense.

With:
Anne Bancroft Peter Finch James Mason Cedric Hardwicke Richard Johnson Eric Porter

Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace quickens as the drama becomes more intense.

Anne Bancroft is exceptionally good. She plays the mother of several young children who leaves her second husband to marry Peter Finch, a scriptwriter with a promising career ahead. And as he succeeds in his work, so she becomes aware of his increasing infidelities and she becomes a case for psychiatric treatment. The role may sound conventional enough, but not as played by Bancroft; she adds a depth and understanding which puts it on a higher plane.

Peter Finch’s performance is a mature intrepretation, and always impressive. To him, casual infidelities are the natural prerequisites of a successful writer.

Notwithstanding the scope offered by those two roles, James Mason stands out in a much smaller part. He plays a deceived husband with a sinister, malevolent bitterness, to provide one of the acting highlights of the picture.

1964: Nomination: Best Actress (Anne Bancroft)

The Pumpkin Eater

UK

Production: Columbia/Romulus. Director Jack Clayton; Producer James Woolf; Screenplay Harold Pinter; Camera Oswald Morris; Editor James Clark; Music Georges Delerue; Art Director Edward Marshall

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 118 MIN.

With: Anne Bancroft Peter Finch James Mason Cedric Hardwicke Richard Johnson Eric Porter

More Film

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Black Panther' Powers Past $300 Million at International Box Office

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • AMERICA Land of the FreeKS

    Berlin Film Review: 'America: Land of the Freeks'

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • Shape of Water

    How ‘Game of Thrones’ Has an Emotional Connection to ‘Shape of Water’

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • Black Panther

    Box Office: 'Black Panther' Rules With $108 Million in Second Weekend

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • Guillermo del Toro To Open Cinema

    Guillermo del Toro to Open Cinema Named after Him at Guadalajara Fest (EXCLUSIVE)

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • 'Lemonade' Review: A Quietly Seething Romanian

    Berlin Film Review: 'Lemonade'

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

  • Cinema Audio Society 2018 Winners: 'Dunkirk,'

    'Dunkirk,' 'Game of Thrones' Win Cinema Audio Society Awards for Sound Mixing

    Harold Pinter’s screenplay is based on a witty novel by Penelope Mortimer, and his script vividly brings to life the principal characters in this story of a shattered marriage, though Pinter’s resort to flashback technique is confusing in the early stages. Jack Clayton’s direction gets off to a slow, almost casual start, but the pace […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content