The Bell Jar (1979)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film is based on Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel. Esther is the central figure, a pioneering businesswoman in the 1950s, with a successful career. As she begins to experience psychological difficulties, her troubles are compounded by the incredible insensitivity of the people around her.
Directed By:
Written By:
AVCO Embassy Pictures


Marilyn Hassett
as Esther Greenwood
Julie Harris
as Mrs. Greenwood
Anne Jackson
as Dr. Nolan
Barbara Barrie
as Jay Cee
Scott McKay
as Mr. Gilling
Meg Mundy
as Bea Ramsey
Elizabeth Hubbard
as Vikki St. John
Karen Howard
as Toni LaBouchere
Margaret Hall
as Jane McLode
David Faulkner
as Professor Edwards
Nicholas Guest
as Young man
Shelley Rogers
as Student editor
Beth McDonald
as Student editor
Christine Estabrook
as Student editor
Ruth Van Poons
as Student Editor
Gil Rogers
as Dr. Richards
Allan Eisenman
as Cab driver
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Critic Reviews for The Bell Jar

There are no critic reviews yet for The Bell Jar. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for The Bell Jar

Dramatically inert, confused film.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


It's not a bad adaptation, but it's not that great either. This was so-so. The whole time I wasn't very enthralled watching, started thinking how much I'd rather just be reading the book and imagining the characters and scenes rather then seeing what I was seeing. It was more mesmerizing reading the book.

Robert Alley
Robert Alley

This movie was so outrageously bad, I had to register with Rotten Tomatoes just to write a review of it to warn people. Or encourage people who enjoy the unintentional comedy of turkeys like this. I was a reader of Sylvia Plath's poetry and I also read The Bell Jar. Plath herself called it a potboiler, but it was so much better than this movie shows it. What stands out for me is the way Marilyn Hassett chose to show deep despair and pain by barking like a seal, and in less intense scenes, coming across like a peevish, ordinary teenager rather than a gifted young woman. And the scenes with Robert Klein have a strong feeling of softcore porn which is embarrassing, coming from a good actor and comedian who should have known better than to be in this monstrosity. Julie Harris does her best and is as good as ever, but gets swallowed up by the bad. Still, her contribution is the most respectable of any of the actors.

Kathryn Jones
Kathryn Jones

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