IMDb > The Happy Ending (1969)
The Happy Ending
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The Happy Ending (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Brooks (written by)
View company contact information for The Happy Ending on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 May 1970 (Ireland) See more »
Marriage is a 30 billion dollar business! And that's just to get married. See more »
A middle-aged woman walks out on her husband and family in an desperate attempt to find herself. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
If you like the song "What are you doing the rest of your life..." See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jean Simmons ... Mary Wilson

John Forsythe ... Fred Wilson

Shirley Jones ... Flo Harrigan

Lloyd Bridges ... Sam

Teresa Wright ... Mrs. Spencer

Dick Shawn ... Harry Bricker

Nanette Fabray ... Agnes

Bobby Darin ... Franco (as Robert Darin)

Tina Louise ... Helen Bricker

Kathy Fields ... Marge Wilson

Karen Steele ... Divorcee
Gail Hensley ... Betty

Eve Brent ... Ethel

William O'Connell ... Minister (as Wm. O'Connell)
Barry Cahill ... Handsome Man
Miriam Blake ... Cindy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Humphrey Bogart ... Himself - actor in 'Casablanca' (archive footage) (uncredited)

Clark Gable ... Himself - actor in 'Susan Lenox' (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Gallaudet ... Airplane Passenger (uncredited)

Jack LaLanne ... Himself on Television (uncredited)

Erin Moran ... Marge Wilson as a Child (uncredited)
Pat Nixon ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Queen Elizabeth II ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Nanci Roberts ... The Model (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Brooks 
Writing credits
Richard Brooks (written by)

Produced by
Richard Brooks .... producer
Original Music by
Michel Legrand 
Cinematography by
Conrad L. Hall (director of photography) (as Conrad Hall)
Film Editing by
George Grenville 
Costume Design by
Rita Riggs 
Makeup Department
Fred C. Blau Jr. .... makeup artist (as Fred Blau)
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist (as Sidney Guilaroff)
Jan Van Uchelen .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
Art Department
Joe LaBella .... property master (as Joe La Bella)
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound re-recordist
William Randall .... sound (as Wm. Randall Jr.)
Kay Rose .... sound editor
Harry Warren .... sound re-recordist
Jerry Whittington .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Brooker .... key grip (as Art Brooker)
Harry Sundby .... chief electrician
Ronald Vidor .... first assistant camera
Thomas Del Ruth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Murray Jordan .... assistant editor
Music Department
Alan Bergman .... lyricist: songs
Marilyn Bergman .... lyrics by
Else Blangsted .... music editor
Kevin F. Cleary .... music recording (as Kevin Cleary)
Michael Dees .... singer
William Eaton .... singer (as Bill Eaton)
Michel Legrand .... composer: songs
Michel Legrand .... conductor
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Al Horwits .... public relations
Gene Levy .... production assistant
Marshall Schlom .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Amar Sem Amor" - Portugal (imdb display title)
"Con los ojos cerrados" - Spain
"El amargo fin" - Colombia (imdb display title)
"Happî Endo/Shiawase no kanata ni" - Japan (imdb display title)
"Happy Ending" - Denmark
"Happy-End für eine Ehe" - West Germany
"Istoria mias pantremenis" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Myötä- ja vastoinkäymisissä" - Finland
"Saadet günleri" - Turkey (Turkish title)
"Szczesliwe zakonczenie" - Poland (imdb display title)
"Tempo para Amar, Tempo para Esquecer" - Brazil
See more »
Rated R for some substance abuse and brief nudity (re-rating) (2015)
117 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:SOA | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | Sweden:15 | UK:X | USA:M (original rating) | USA:PG (original video rating) | USA:R (re-rating) (2015) (#22340)

Did You Know?

Teresa Wright was just 11 years older than Jean Simmons, who was playing her daughter.See more »
Anachronisms: During opening credit sequence, many late model 1960's cars can be seen in flashback scene supposedly set 15 years earlier.See more »
Mary Wilson:I've found the secret formula: IF you look and smell right, IF your hair is the right color, if you drive the right car, smoke the right cigarette, if your bosom is big, and firm, and fully packed, and your breath is sweet and your teeth are bright, then you'll find love, marriage, and be happy forever... if - IF - you promise never, but never, to grow old.
Sam:Why not? It's the American Dream.
Mary Wilson:I thought that was money?
Sam:Love and money are related by marriage.
Flo:Daddy, what's marriage?
Sam:Business. BIG business. The U.S. economy depends on marriage.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Smilin' Through (1932)See more »
Hurry Up 'N' Hurry DownSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
If you like the song "What are you doing the rest of your life...", 5 July 2011
Author: blanche-2 from United States

--this film is for you, as you'll hear that song constantly throughout the film.

"The Happy Ending" stars Jean Simmons, John Forsythe, Teresa Wright, Shirley Jones, Nanetete Fabray and Lloyd Bridges, and is directed by Simmons' husband, Richard Brooks. Interestingly, Teresa Wright didn't like his directing and found it pedantic, adding, "but I can't say anything because of Jean." Jean Simmons is one of my favorite actresses and this story serves her well. After twenty years, the lust is gone from Mary Wilson's marriage to husband Fred (Forsythe); she drinks, she pops pills, and finally, after a huge spending spree, her husband takes her credit cards and charge accounts away from her. Her favorite thing is watching old movies which have happy endings; strangely, one of her favorites is Casablanca. Casablanca has a noble ending, even a satisfactory ending. But a happy ending? I mean, Bogie ends up with Louis.

Finally, Mary manages to get her hands on some money, and she takes off for the Bahamas, where she is taken in by an old school friend (Shirley Jones), the "other woman" in several relationships who now finds herself involved with Lloyd Bridges, looking pretty darn good, I might add.

The film seems to be a series of flashbacks and music videos; it is surprising how little dialogue there actually is. Jean Simmons at 40 is radiantly beautiful as usual and she does a great job as Mary. Simmons was a totally underrated actress, squeezed in as she was with the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Brooks again has cast Shirley Jones as a bad girl, and again, she's effective. Teresa Wright plays Mary's mother, who can't quite understand her daughter's quest for happiness. Mary wants the fairytale.

I found this film just okay, at times confusing because of the seamlessness of the flashbacks, and frankly, I got sick of hearing "What are you doing...", a song a young man once sang to me and informed me that he had written it. Right.

Anything with Simmons is worth seeing, but at times, this one is tough going.

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