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'night, Mother (1986)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 January 1987 (Australia)
What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Moore

Writers:

Marsha Norman (play), Marsha Norman (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sissy Spacek ... Jessie Cates
Anne Bancroft ... Thelma Cates
Ed Berke Ed Berke ... Dawson Cates
Carol Robbins Carol Robbins ... Loretta Cates
Jennifer Roosendahl Jennifer Roosendahl ... Melodie Cates
Michael Kenworthy Michael Kenworthy ... Kenny Cates
Sari Walker Sari Walker ... Agnes Fletcher
Claire Malis Claire Malis ... Operator (voice)
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Storyline

What would you do if someone you loved sat down with you one night and calmly told you that they were going to end their life before morning? This is Thelma Cates' dilemma. Her daughter, Jessie, has had it. A middle-aged epileptic unable to hold a job or drive with a failed marriage and a drug-addicted runaway son on the wrong side of the law, Jessie can find no reason to go on living. Adapted from the play by Marsha Norman, "'night, Mother" is the story of a parent's worst nightmare. How can Thelma convince her daughter that life is worth living if she can't feel her pain? How can she end her daughter's embrace of death before morning? Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>/Reid Taylor

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in 1983. It was a rare and remarkable theatrical experience. Controversial. Provocative. And shocking. Now, two Academy Award-winning actresses make the Pulitzer Prize-winning play the motion picture event of the year.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1987 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Boa Noite Mãe See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,164, 14 September 1986

Gross USA:

$441,863

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$441,863
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally a Broadway play, written by Marsha Norman and directed by Tom Moore, both of whom returned for the movie adaptation. The production opened at the John Golden Theater on March 31, 1983, ran for 380 performances, and was nominated for four Tony Awards: Best Play, Best Actress in a Play (both Kathy Bates and Anne Pitoniak), and Best Director. Despite losing at the Tony's, the play won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was revived on Broadway in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Thelma: But you are my child!
Jessie: I'm what became of your child. I found an old baby picture of me... and it was somebody else - not me. It was somebody pink and fat. Who never heard of sick or lonely. Somebody who cried and got fed. And reached up and got held. Slept whenever she wanted to just by closing her eyes. Somebody who mainly just laid there and laughed at the colors waving over, round her head. And chewed on a polka-dot whale. And woke up knowing some new trick nearly every day. Rolled over and ...
[...]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
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4 June 2000 | by aromatic-2See all my reviews

Marsha Norman's play was gripping and harrowing on Broadway and while Director Moore opens it up as much as possible without losing the repartee, it is still a filmed stage play -- but one that packs every bit of the emotional wallop it did on the stage. The acting is marvelous and pulls no punches. Bancroft is almost unrecognizable, in a good way, completely immersing herself in the energetic mother character. Spacek is completely believable as the determined daughter. This is a true clinic in two-person character study acting.


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