Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

Diary of a Mad Housewife


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film, Carrie Snodgress plays the long-suffering wife of pushy, insensitive attorney Richard Benjamin. Unable to withstand being treated as a trophy, Snodgress has a brief affair with sexy Frank Langella. Langella, like virtually every other male character in the film, is just as selfish and self-involved as Benjamin.

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Eleanor Perry
In Theaters:


as Tina Balser

as Jonathan Balser

as George Prager

as Mrs. Prinz

as Samuel Keefer

as Margo

as Lottie

as Pediatrician

as Women's Lib Girl

as Himself

as Mrs. Prinz

as Dr. Linstrom

as Elliot Asher

as Man in Group Therapy...

as (uncredited)

as (uncredited)

as (uncredited)

as (uncredited)

as Women's Liberation G...
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Critic Reviews for Diary of a Mad Housewife

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

An engrossing story of the disintegration of a modern loveless marriage.

Full Review… | October 30, 2007
Top Critic

It's an entertaining satire that disappoints only in the stereotypically limited choices it offers to the woman.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Among the performers, Carrie Snodgress will surely receive the critical praise she deeply deserves.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

What makes the movie work, however, is that it's played entirely from the housewife's point of view, and that the housewife is played brilliantly by Carrie Snodgress.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The three leads are excellent.

Full Review… | October 30, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Frank Perry's screen version lacks the satirical bite of the novel but benefits from the powerful performance of Carrie Snodgress who deservedly received an Oscar nomination.

Full Review… | July 17, 2005

Audience Reviews for Diary of a Mad Housewife

The story of an average housewife who is married to the most annoying man in the world, you can't blame her for cheating on him! You sympathize with her. This is a fantastic drama, very psychological and intense. Plus, there's a scene with an early Alice Cooper band playing at a party! Check it out, it's cool.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


"Diary of a Mad Housewife" is impeccably acted and characterized, though more "play-like" than I prefer. There is little action beyond small-room dialogue, and no notable directing choices beyond a couple of sharp time-lapse montages. I always heard Carrie Snodgrass's Oscar-nominated performance was amazing, but I was actually more impressed with Richard Benjamin. Without relying on any of the usual vices (physical abuse, addiction, womanizing), Benjamin's social-climbing lawyer manages to be one of the most repellent husbands you've ever seen in a film. Self-involved, needy, callous, childish, grasping, anal-retentive...he has it all. Every time he playfully suggests "a roll in dee ha-ay" to his wife, you hope she'll brain him with a baseball bat.

Frank Langella is also good as a self-involved cad who (initially) seems like a refreshing escape for Snodgrass. Music fans will enjoy an unexpected live performance by Alice Cooper and band, and there's also an oh-so-brief cameo by the young Peter Boyle.

Hard to guess why this film was never released on DVD.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


Perhaps a bit tame by today's comparison, Diary of a Mad Housewife was unique for its time period in depicting the depression felt by those stay at home moms. Kudos to Frank Langella who I haven't managed to see much in his youth.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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