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The Happy Ending

The Happy Ending (1969)

My Rating

Movie Info

Suburban housewives console themselves with pills and alcohol to tolerate their spouses' infidelities in The Happy Ending. Mary Wilson (Jean Simmons) is married to Fred (John Forsythe) and she prepares for their 16th wedding-anniversary party with tranquilizers and booze. The guests are clients of Fred's, a successful tax attorney. Harry (Dick Shawn) and wife Helen (Tina Louise) are two of the guests. Helen offers herself to Fred, as Mary entertains thoughts of bedding down with the playboy Sam

PG,

Drama

Richard Brooks

May 28, 1996

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All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (0) | Rotten (4)

A well-developed and acted and potentially significant 'woman's movie' unfortunately drowns in Brooks' over indulgences and over-writing.

April 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Happy Ending is a kind of false Faces -- a movie that set out to expose the kitsch of Hollywood fantasy.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Depressing melodrama about the trials and tribulations of a modern marriage.

March 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Jean Simmons struggles valiantly but no avail; she's defeated by writer-director Brooks's dreary, overwritten screenplay.

April 8, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Happy Ending

Jean Simmons makes this compelling viewing. The backstory of the film is that director Richard Brooks, Simmons husband at the time, was concerned and aware of Jean's alcoholism and designed the picture not only as a showcase for her prestigious talent, rewared with an Oscar nomination, but hopefully a wakeup call for her. It didn't work immediately and eventually helped destroy their marriage but she was able to eventually conquer her demons and live sober until the end of her life. The film itself is a scattershot affair what with it's frequent flashbacks and fragmented nature but does have a beautiful score and excepting Bobby Darin very good supporting work. Shirley Jones is notable in particular in the smallish role of an old college chum of Jean's. The ending is beautifully done, simple and true.
January 28, 2011
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jay nixon

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