6.5/10
1,231
27 user 12 critic

The Group (1966)

Approved | | Drama | 4 March 1966 (USA)
In June 1933, eight young women, who are close friends and members of the upper-class group at South Tower College, graduate and start their adult lives. The film documents the years ... See full summary »

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Mary McCarthy (novel), Sidney Buchman (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Candice Bergen ... Lakey Eastlake
Joan Hackett ... Dottie Renfrew Latham
Elizabeth Hartman ... Priss Hartshorn Crockett
Shirley Knight ... Polly Andrews Ridgeley
Joanna Pettet ... Kay Strong Peterson
Mary-Robin Redd Mary-Robin Redd ... Pokey Prothero Beauchamp
Jessica Walter ... Libby MacAusland
Kathleen Widdoes Kathleen Widdoes ... Helena Davison
James Broderick ... Dr. James Ridgeley
James Congdon James Congdon ... Sloan Crockett
Larry Hagman ... Harald Peterson
Hal Holbrook ... Gus Leroy
Richard Mulligan ... Dick Brown
Robert Emhardt ... Henry Andrews
Carrie Nye Carrie Nye ... Norine Blake
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Storyline

In June 1933, eight young women, who are close friends and members of the upper-class group at South Tower College, graduate and start their adult lives. The film documents the years between their graduation and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe, and shows, in a serialized style, their romances and marriages, their searches for careers or meaning in their lives, their highs and their lows. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Group See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Longstanding rumor has suggested that producer Charles Feldman, having already bought the film rights to Mary McCarthy's novel in advance of publication, made sure it would be a best-seller by sending employees to bookstores all over America to buy up numerous copies of it. The prestige accruing to the book allowed him and Sidney Lumet to make the film with unknown actors and without too much interference. See more »

Goofs

When arguing politics with Norine, Helena says, "The whole class voted for Roosevelt in the college poll," when she means "the whole group." Pauline Kael, who was watching the filming and following the script, wrote that she pointed this mistake out to Sidney Lumet but he never corrected it. See more »

Quotes

Harald Peterson: [to Kay] Cooking is a lively art. You make it rather academic and lifeless.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in By Sidney Lumet (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Busy, bustling, chatty character study-cum-soaper...several stand-out performances
29 June 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet directed this busy, bustling, chatty character study-cum-soaper concerning eight Vassar graduates in 1933 who take different paths in life but always manage to stay in touch. Writer-producer Sidney Buchman nearly pulls off the heady task of adapting Mary McCarthy's well-loved novel to the screen, despite insurmountable story obstacles, a self-defeating length, and a persistent claim from professional critics at the time that maybe a female screenwriter should have been hired instead to adapt McCarthy's prose (Pauline Kael was the most vocal in this area). With much crisscross editing between apartments, hospitals, and places of employment, it's nearly impossible to determine how many years pass in the course of the story--and this episodic structure leaves Candice Bergen's Lakey and Mary-Robin Redd's Pokey with hardly any screen-time. Joan Hackett as Dottie makes a very appealing impression in her early scenes (falling for heartless womanizer Richard Mulligan), but then she too disappears. There's far too much of Joanna Pettet in the overtly-showy role of Kay (and with her comes Larry Hagman, doing nothing new in the impossible role of Kay's hard-drinking, womanizing husband). Elizabeth Hartman as Priss and Shirley Knight as Polly end up doing the finest acting work, with Knight practically carrying the film's final third--but then, the screenplay is tipped towards our liking those characters the most (if Jessica Walters' gossiping Libby was revealed to have half a heart, we might feel the same towards her). The scattershot humor is there, but it's always undercut by sourness--which is then replaced with grimness. If Buchman was inappropriate as the writer, Lumet was equally a questionable choice as director. He keeps the pacing lively, but the film is far more vitriolic than nostalgic. **1/2 from ****


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