Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

Anne Bancroft stars in Jack Clayton's The Pumpkin Eater tonight on BBC2. The script was sharply penned by Harold Pinter and is based on Penelope Mortimer's novel of the same name. The movie is a study of marriage and follows Bancroft's Jo as she drifts from husband to husband. Although more extravagant and 'modern' than Clayton's previous release (the astounding and surprisingly terrifying The Innocents (1961), an adaptation of Henry James' The Turn of The Screw) the director manages to capture the emotional and physical claustrophobia of the central character's circumstance perfectly. My favourite and probably the most unforgetable scene in the movie is the one in which Jo backwardly smokes a cigarette, an enviable talent for any heavy smoker.

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