The Pumpkin Eater

In the fall of ‘64, while Hollywood was gently satirizing the battle of the sexes with Send Me No Flowers and What a Way to Go!, Europe was at work in the trenches, peppering art houses with piercing dramas like François Truffaut‘s The Soft Skin and André Cayatte’s dual release, Anatomy of a Marriage: My Nights With Francoise and My Days with Jean-Marc (“One Ticket Admits You to Both Theaters”). Perhaps most unforgiving of all was Jack Clayton’s The Pumpkin Eater starring Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch and James Mason.

Bancroft plays Jo Armitage, a fragile beauty who responds to her husband’s infidelities by getting pregnant. Finch is Jake, a screenwriter whose recent success has emboldened him to walk on the wild side thereby provoking Jo to over-crowd the nursery. Mason is, once again, the odd man out, the deceptively genial husband of one of Jake’s conquests.
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