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

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Down 6% 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:
Who Was Ever Promised A Storybook Ending? 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 »
Flo:Some girls work their way through college selling magazines. I sold *me*.
Sam:I don't want to hear it.
Flo:It's a success story with a bang finish. Lucky my mother hated breast-feeding, or I'd been alcoholic before I could walk. Finally killed her. Every Sunday, drunk or sober, she'd give me the same lecture: "Girl, ya' gotta' go to college. Because without an education, you either end up a big-mouthed housewife, or a big-assed whore." My freshman year, she dropped dead - smack in the middle of praying to win a fortune in the Irish Sweepstakes...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Something For EverybodySee more »


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25 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Who Was Ever Promised A Storybook Ending?, 11 May 2008
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Take a good look at the film credits of Jean Simmons especially during the Fifties and you'll find that woman has been in some of the best movies ever made. Yet nary an Oscar nomination for her until The Happy Ending and she lost that year to Maggie Smith for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

A great example of this would be Elmer Gantry where Jean did not get a nomination unlike the Oscars won by her co-stars Burt Lancaster and Shirley Jones. Yet she did walk off with the director Richard Brooks who became her second husband. It was Brooks who wrote and directed The Happy Ending about a woman tipping into forty something who still has a whole lot of silly romantic notions.

Jean and husband John Forsythe are approaching their twentieth anniversary together and she feels in a rut. So she indulges in all kinds of bad behavior, runs up huge charge account bills, starts drinking like a fish, runs away to a vacation in the Bahamas where an old college pal, Shirley Jones, takes her in.

Elia Kazan in the same year 1969 did a similar film from the man's point of view, The Arrangement which starred Kirk Douglas. The Happy Ending however is far better and it might really have been interesting if Deborah Kerr in that film had gone off the edge the way Jean does here.

In The Happy Ending Jean loves watching Casablanca and I find it fascinating that she picks that as a great romantic film. If memory serves that's the one where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman give up their personal happiness for what they conceive as the greater good.

I do like Shirley Jones in this film as the old college sorority chum who eschewed marriage to just being a permanent 'other' woman. She's had three so far and she's accompanying a fourth to Nassau in the person of Lloyd Bridges. It's fascinating that only Richard Brooks cast Shirley in parts where she wasn't a goody goody and she won great acclaim and an Oscar for being prostitute in Elmer Gantry.

Jean's partial solution to her problems in the end is a very typical feminist one which I will not reveal. As to whether she's damaged her relationship with Forsythe beyond repair, that's anyone's guess.

You will also like Teresa Wright as Jean's mother, Bobby Darin as an about to go over the hill gigolo, and Tina Louise as the neighbor who's ready to take Jean's place with Forsythe any time.

Besides Jean Simmons nomination, The Happy Ending also was nominated for Michel LeGrand's classic song, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life, a question Jean is struggling to answer all the film long.

The Happy Ending is a good and mature film that could only have been made once the sacred Code was abandoned. Too bad though that it could not have resulted in an Oscar for its star.

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