'Night Mother 1986

'Night, Mother

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86%

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User Ratings: 2,464

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Movie Info

Jessie Cates (Sissy Spacek) packs her belongings into bags intended for donation to charity. She's doing so because, as she tells her mother, Thelma (Anne Bancroft), she plans to kill herself that very evening. This film, inspired by an esteemed stage production, centers on the interactions between an elderly woman and her daughter, whose depression has pushed her to the brink of suicide. As Jessie steels herself for her last act, Thelma gallantly encourages her to opt for life.

Cast & Crew

Sissy Spacek
Jessie Cates
Anne Bancroft
Thelma Cates
Ed Berke
Dawson Cates
Carol Robbins
Loretta Cates
Sari Walker
Agnes Fletcher
Tom Moore
Director
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Critic Reviews for 'Night Mother

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for 'Night Mother

  • Nov 27, 2014
    Anne Bancroft and Sissy Spacek not receiving an Oscar nomination for their performances is without a doubt one of the biggest injustices in the History of Cinema, since they give their very best in this harrowing, emotionally devastating adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning play.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2013
    Like many other great plays with intimate settings and small casts, "night Mother", doesn't translate to film that well. I still think I liked it in the end, mostly because Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft give truly phenomenal performances
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2011
    In "'night Mother," Jessie Cates(Sissy Spacek) spends her day cleaning the house she shares with her mother(Anne Bancroft). She also labels all of her clothing for various charitable organizations. Once her mother comes home, she asks her where her father's gun is before calmly telling her of her intention to kill herself that night. Sad to say, the rumored intensity of the play "'night Mother" is not on display in this filmed version that does not translate particularly well to the screen as it feels like just another made for television movie of the period. Strange as it may sound, a lot of it comes down to the casting. Both Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft are great actresses but their styles are so different that it transcends generations. Spacek is superb giving a very natural, matter of fact performance while Bancroft has to force herself to operate in her territory. Maybe Joanne Woodward would have been a better choice to play the mother in retrospect.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2009
    An unsettling take on the tragic phenomenon of suicide. Great performances (Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft) but it's hard to overlook a screenplay that seems better suited for the stage. The back-story could have been better told through a series of flashbacks rather than thick dialog. But still, a fascinating study of the dysfunctional relationship between mothers and daughters.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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