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Member of the Wedding (The)

USA, English, 93 mins

  • Director: Fred Zinnemann
  • Writer: Carson McCullers; Edna Anhalt
  • Producer: Edna Anhalt; Edward Anhalt

CGiii Comment

Julie Harris was nominated for an Oscar...for this over-acted, screeching frenzy of a performance.

She was 27 when she played this role...her character is meant to be 12! A truly ridiculous piece of casting...and, a ridiculously written character.

Carson McCullers - quite easily one of the most over-rated American writers...

Of her writing style McCullers said, "I am so immersed in my characters that their motives are my own. When I write about a thief, I become one; when I write about Captain Penderton [Reflections in a Golden Eye], I become a homosexual man. I become the characters I write about and I bless the Latin poet Terence who said 'Nothing human is alien to me.'"

Perhaps, she was drunk when she said this...but, there's no getting away from her delusion.

A delusion that permeates into The Member of the Wedding...Frankie, the slappable 12/27 year old, is in love with her brother and his bride, she demands to be part of their wedding/marriage...once that contrivance is sorted out, it just gets a whole lot worse.

Notable only for...a few scenes that were allowed despite the rigidity of the Hays Code...and, the most unwarranted Oscar nomination in Oscar's [blighted] history.

It really is an excruciating, migraine-inducing atrocity.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

In a small Georgia town, twelve year old tomboy Frankie Addams feels unconnected to the world, a fact troubling to her. Her unconventional views for a twelve year old girl make her an outcast among her peers, which she in turn blames for her situation rather than anything of her own doing. Her only real friend is John Henry, her younger next door neighbor, although she doesn't see him as a friend since she doesn't consider him a peer. As her widowed father is all consumed with running his small business, Frankie is largely left to the care of their housekeeper, Berenice. Berenice tries to provide as much true guidance to Frankie and what Frankie considers her problems, although Berenice has her own troubles looking after her wild foster brother, Honey Camden, her only surviving family. In addition, Frankie largely sees Berenice's advice as the rantings of a large, crazy black woman.

Cast & Characters

Ethel Waters as Berenice Sadie Brown;
Julie Harris as Frances 'Frankie' Addams;
Brandon De Wilde as John Henry;
Arthur Franz as Jarvis Addams;
Nancy Gates as Janice;
William Hansen as Mr. Addams;
James Edwards as Honey Camden Brown;
Harry Bolden as T.T. Williams;
Dickie Moore as Soldier;
Hugh Beaumont as Minister;
Margaret Bert as Townswoman;
Jeanne Blackford as Townswoman;
Gail Bonney as Townswoman;
Ivan Browning as Porter;
Ann Carter as Doris - Club Girl

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