Rotten Tomatoes

Movies / TV

    Celebrity

      No Results Found

      View All
      Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

      The Happy Ending

      R Released Dec 21, 1969 1h 52m Drama List
      33% Tomatometer 9 Reviews 38% Audience Score 100+ Ratings When Fred (John Forsythe) asked for Mary's (Jean Simmons) hand in marriage, she thought she had the happy ending she only read about in fairy tales. Now it's 16 years later; Fred has had an affair, and Mary drowns her sorrows in pills and booze, a dangerous combination that nearly resulted in her death the year before. As Mary rushes off to the Bahamas for a relaxing escape from her crumbling marriage, she reflects on the past and wonders just where it all went wrong. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

      Where to Watch

      The Happy Ending

      Prime Video

      Watch The Happy Ending with a subscription on Prime Video.

      Critics Reviews

      View All (9) Critics Reviews
      Richard Brody New Yorker [A] shudderingly impassioned, history-jangled, cinema-centric drama... Jul 13, 2020 Full Review Variety Staff Variety A well-developed and acted and potentially significant 'woman's movie' unfortunately drowns in Brooks' over indulgences and over-writing. Apr 8, 2008 Full Review Vincent Canby New York Times The Happy Ending is a kind of false Faces -- a movie that set out to expose the kitsch of Hollywood fantasy. Rated: 1/5 May 9, 2005 Full Review Michael Ross Los Angeles Free Press It may be the most laughless comedy ever made or, for that matter, the quite silliest drama. Jan 15, 2020 Full Review Richard Schickel LIFE Disgusting. Oct 2, 2019 Full Review Nathanael Hood The Retro Set Richard Brooks' The Happy Ending is an odd film snuggled somewhere between the romantic melodrama and the social problem films that came to define his career. Rated: 8/10 Dec 28, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (13) audience reviews
      Audience Member The greatest 1 52/60 hours ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member A better film than what I was expecting based on the Rotten Tomatoes rating, though still a mediocre film. The film starts with this jumbled score that doesn't work and goes on a bit too long. The relationship of the two main characters is so rushed I feel like the film should have started with Forsyth and Simmons already married. However, the acting was pretty good, especially from Simmons in the more dramatic moments. She was deservedly nominated for the role in the Best Actress Oscar category, but was not as good as the winner of that year, Maggie Smith, in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (I have not seen the other nominees). The sound editing is pretty odd in some places especially when Simmons's character lands in Nassau. The film significantly stalls in Nassau but does pick up a bit near the end. The ending itself was nice if quite abrupt and underwhelming. Overall, a film, while not in anyway unique, was well-acted and at times pretty funny but became pretty tedious for large intervals. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review steve d Simmons is great, the film is not. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Director Richard Brooks and his actress wife Jean Simmons teamed up to produce a smart, entertaining critique of big business religion with Elmer Gantry (1960) but their reteaming 9 years is a considerably less satisfying film. This is a film to which the word ‘pretentious' applies as it follows the well worn formula of a depressed housewife with some form of addiction, in this case alcohol, attempting to find freedom through an impromptu getaway, to the Bahamas of all places, before realizing that she can only be happy by divorcing her husband. Sadly this film is not content with fully committing to the soap opera style it approaches it's subject with and instead wants to be Faces (1968) or Shame (1968). The psychological musings in the screenplay sound laughable when read out loud and it is painful seeing an actress as capable as Simmons forced to work around this script in order to give an impressive performance. Fortunately she is able to deliver and is the one saving grace in an otherwise misguided effort. Idealistic young college student Mary Spencer, Jean Simmons, leaves college to marry Fred Wilson, John Forsythe, but places unrealistic expectations upon their relationship as she models her life on classic Hollywood films. Fifteen years after their marriage Spencer has become an alcoholic who is distant from her teenage daughter and husband. In an attempt to escape from her suffocating everyday life she impulsively purchases a ticket to Nassau in the Bahamas and spends time with her friend Flo, Shirley Jones, who dates married men and does not commit while briefly being pursued by conman Franco, Bobby Darin. She returns to her life after this time away intending to be a better wife and mother but her past traumas come back to haunt her and she is forced to reconsider what she wants. This film fits into a genre that I rather like as Wanda (1970) and Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973) are two favorites of mine but this film lacks the emotional depth of either of those films and gets lost in meaningless side plots. The idea of a woman who uses classic films to distract from her own miserable love life is not entirely unappealing, I have often wondered why real men can't be quite as gallant and charming as Clark Gable or Van Heflin, but the motif is dropped for such a long time and picked up so suddenly that it's use is not particularly effective. The idea that our main character is an alcoholic is also not explored with enough depth as Simmons appears flawless and glamorous even when we are meant to believe she has just been in a drunk driving accident. When she heads to the Bahamas to get away from all the stresses in her life we don't feel the desperation as the set up for the horrors of married life has been so simultaneously rushed and drawn out that we don't feel like we really know this woman. We do have to care about our protagonist's problems however small they may be in order to engage with a film like this and because the movie fails on so many counts we have no sense of personal connection with this woman. This is not the fault of Simmons who puts in a very good performance armed with a dreadful screenplay as she gets all of the mannerisms and insincerity of a woman this fragile correct. During the opening scenes she presents us with the iciness she used to such great effect in Great Expectations (1947) and when we see her as the messed up alcoholic she tries her damnedest to make us believe she can't take the vague obstacles the film throws at her. It is during her scenes with other women in the film, Jones and Teresa Wright playing her mother in particular, that she gets to shine as her brittle nature and touchiness get a chance to shine through and she becomes more than just an empty stereotype. Yes, I would have liked it if she didn't have to speak in rhyme for half of the film and I was slightly confused as to whether she was meant to British or not but these complaints fell away in the face of Simmons' ability to convey quiet fear. This is not a film worth watching if you are looking for a good drama that effectively explores the important ideas it attempts to tackle but as a hatewatch it may provide some entertainment. If you are a fan of Simmons then this will be worth it to see her display her obvious talent. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Though well acted, The Happy Ending is a kind of false Faces -- a movie that sets out to expose the kitsch of Hollywood fantasy. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member not the kind of 'happy' I was looking 4 Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Happy Ending

      My Rating

      Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

      Cast & Crew

      86% 62% The Rain People 89% 84% Five Easy Pieces 89% 88% Midnight Cowboy 20% 50% Joanna 85% 87% Faces Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis When Fred (John Forsythe) asked for Mary's (Jean Simmons) hand in marriage, she thought she had the happy ending she only read about in fairy tales. Now it's 16 years later; Fred has had an affair, and Mary drowns her sorrows in pills and booze, a dangerous combination that nearly resulted in her death the year before. As Mary rushes off to the Bahamas for a relaxing escape from her crumbling marriage, she reflects on the past and wonders just where it all went wrong.
      Director
      Richard Brooks
      Producer
      Richard Brooks
      Screenwriter
      Richard Brooks
      Distributor
      United Artists
      Production Co
      Pax Enterprises
      Rating
      R (Brief Nudity|Some Substance Abuse)
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Dec 21, 1969, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 5, 2018
      Runtime
      1h 52m
      Most Popular at Home Now