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Grace Quigley (1984)

PG | | Comedy | 17 May 1985 (USA)
Grace Quigley is nearing the end of her life, living alone in her New York apartment. One day she witnesses a murder being committed by top hit-man, Seymour Flint. She decides to blackmail ... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Harvey
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katharine Hepburn ... Grace Quigley
Nick Nolte ... Seymour Flint
Kit Le Fever ... Muriel
Chip Zien ... Dr. Herman
William Duell William Duell ... Mr. Harvey Jenkins
Elizabeth Wilson ... Emily Watkins
Walter Abel ... Homer Morrison
Frances Pole Frances Pole ... Sarah Hodgkins
Truman Gaige Truman Gaige ... Sam Pincus
Paula Trueman ... Dorothy Trugert
Christopher Murney ... Max Putnam
Nicholas Kepros Nicholas Kepros ... Funeral Director
Harris Laskawy Harris Laskawy ... Mr. Argo
Carl Low Carl Low ... Old Man
Isabella Hoopes Isabella Hoopes ... Old Lady
Edit

Storyline

Grace Quigley is nearing the end of her life, living alone in her New York apartment. One day she witnesses a murder being committed by top hit-man, Seymour Flint. She decides to blackmail him into killing her, however, she has one or two friends he has to get rid of first. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Grace & Seymour have hit on a new solution to an age old problem See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final music score of a widely theatrically released picture of music composer John Addison. See more »

Quotes

Seymour Flint: I guess I can do a lot of people some good, can't I?
Grace Quigley: I told you, Seymour. Think of yourself as a doctor. A doctor saves the lives of those who want to live, you take the lives of those who want to die. Seymour, listen to me, those five people who need your services are all lovely people. They need your help and your talent to free them of their misery. Seymour, listen to me - I was a good mother, I never told any of my children to do anything wrong and I wouldn't tell you. So be a good boy, ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The alternate cut known as the "Ultimate Solution" contains several musical differences when compared with the more widely available version. The most noticeable difference is that in the two sequence scored with The Pretenders songs, John Addison's original cues were reinstated. These scenes are when Grace gets accidentally kidnapped in Seymour's car and the final hearse chase. The end credits however still list the songs even though they are not in the picture anymore. See more »

Connections

Featured in Action II (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Thumbelina
Written by Chrissie Hynde
Performed by The Pretenders
Courtesy of WEA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Seymour! Mother!
4 April 2015 | by mmallon4See all my reviews

Old Hollywood stars who were still working by the 1980's where usually appearing in films dealing with old age (On Golden Pond, Tough Guys, The Whales of August). Grace Quigley was one such film and would be Katharine Hepburn's last starring role in a theatrical film. The movie's alternative title is 'The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley' although I'm assuming that title is less commonly used since it echoes a certain 20th-century atrocity.

Starring alongside Nick Nolte, Grace Quigley has a Harold and Maude element of a young man and an old woman becoming an unlikely team but the Hal Ashby comparison doesn't end there as I've read several sources stating he was originally set to direct the project. The plot of the film involves retired widow Grace Quigley and hitman Seymour Flint getting together through a series of events (and eventfully he adorably starts calling her mom) and starting their own assisted suicide enterprise. Yes, that's the plot. Grace Quigley is one of my favourite dark comedies with much of the film's humour coming from the characters talking so casually about killing themselves as if it's something they do every day as well as the inclusion of possibly the happiest funeral ever.

The film has a pro-assisted suicide message with one scene involving Grace's neighbour played by William Duell telling Seymour about dying with dignity and her unwillingness to go to a retirement home as well as "dying in front of a TV set". In one of the more serious moments of the film, Grace takes Seymour to a retirement home to show him the horrors. I applaud the film for having the courage to make these unapologetic statements about one's right to take their own life and society's treatment of the elderly. As Grace Quigley was a pet project for Katharine Hepburn she must have strongly believed in the issues raised in the film (and a sequel was even planned!).

I also recommend looking up Grace Quigley's UK VHS cover art. The film I not actually that action-packed (although there is one brief car chase) but I still say it is the single greatest piece of home video artwork ever created.


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