The Pumpkin Eater

The Pumpkin Eater

Jack Clayton (1964)

X Certificate


Our Score
This is a study of a modern - well, 1964 - marriage, based on Penelope Mortimer's novel, with Anne Bancroft as the mother of several screaming brats and the wife of adulterous screenwriter-husband Peter Finch. She suffers a nervous collapse in Harrods, undergoes psychoanalysis, then a hysterectomy. Bancroft and Finch deliver blockbuster performances and the supporting cast is equally impressive - from James Mason as a boorish party guest and Maggie Smith as one of Finch's lovers. There's beautifully modulated direction from Jack Clayton and scriptwriter Harold Pinter's acidulent signature is all over it - not to mention the influence of Michelangelo Antonioni - for this British movie is so arty and so alienating it almost needs subtitles.


The life of a wife and mother of six children is turned upside down when she is told her husband, a fledgling screenwriter, is having an affair. The discovery of his betrayal and his indifference to her feelings pushes her close to a nervous breakdown. Drama, starring Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason, Maggie Smith and Cedric Hardwicke.

Cast & Crew

Jo Armitage Anne Bancroft
Jake Armitage Peter Finch
Bob Conway James Mason
Mr James, Jo's father Cedric Hardwicke
Giles Richard Johnson
Philpot Maggie Smith
Beth Janine Gray
Psychiatrist Eric Porter
Mrs James, Jo's mother Rosalind Atkinson
Director Jack Clayton
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Columbia Picture Corp. LtdAvailable on: DVD