6.0/10
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67 user 37 critic

The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

In a dystopian, polluted right wing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.

Director:

Volker Schlöndorff (as Volker Schlondorff)

Writers:

Margaret Atwood (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
244 ( 85)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Richardson ... Kate
Faye Dunaway ... Serena Joy
Aidan Quinn ... Nick
Elizabeth McGovern ... Moira
Victoria Tennant ... Aunt Lydia
Robert Duvall ... Commander
Blanche Baker ... Ofglen
Traci Lind ... Ofwarren / Janine
Zoey Wilson Zoey Wilson ... Aunt Helena
Kathryn Doby Kathryn Doby ... Aunt Elizabeth
Reiner Schöne ... Luke (as Rainer Schoene)
Lucia Hartpeng ... Cora
Karma Ibsen Riley Karma Ibsen Riley ... Aunt Sara
Lucile McIntyre Lucile McIntyre ... Rita
Gary Bullock ... Officer on Bus
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Storyline

Set in a Fascistic future America, The Handmaid's Tale tells the story of Kate, a handmaid. In this America, the religious right has taken over and gone hog-wild. Kate is a criminal, guilty of the crime of trying to escape from the US, and is sentenced to become a Handmaid. The job of a Handmaid is to bear the children of the man to whom she is assigned. After ruthless group training by Aunt Lydia in the proper way to behave, Kate is assigned as Handmaid to the Commander. Kate is attracted to Nick, the Commander's chauffeur. At the same time, a resistance movement begins to challenge the regime. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See it...while it's still allowed See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A História da Aia See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,960,385
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening prologue states: "Once upon a time in the recent future, a country went wrong. The country was called The Republic of Gilead". This wordage is also quoted in the movie's main trailer. See more »

Goofs

The amount of yarn held by Offred for Major's wife. See more »

Quotes

Moira: What they get you for?
Kate: We tried to cross the border. You?
Moira: Gender Treachery. I like girls.
Kate: My God! They could've sent you to the colonies for that.
Moira: They don't send you to the colonies if your ovaries are still jumping.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture/Snow/Prison Camp/On the Bus/Old Hundredth (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow)
Composed and performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto
(P) 1990 GNP Crescendo Records
© 1990 Ryuichi Sakamoto / Cinecom Entertainment Group Inc.
Licensed through Cinecom Entertainment Group Inc.
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User Reviews

In some ways a very frightening movie
5 August 2002 | by nw_sorensenSee all my reviews

The Handmaid's Tale goes a long way to show just what could possibly happen if some religious establishment were to take control of the government. In the movie you can plainly see the horrific amount of mysoginy and mistreatment of women that was commonplace in times past and is prevalant in many societies today. I think that the overall concept of the movie is good, but I think that the presentation of it could have been better. The characters seemed to lack depth and like other comments I have read, the directing was horrible. I can understand that there must have been some difficulty in adapting Atwood's book to movie format since the original story is solely from the viewpoint of Offred (the handmaid). I can certainly see that the screenwriters tried to stick to one of Atwood's main points in the story of the mysoginy and facism of the group that had taken control. The movie shows the wisdom of keeping a strict separation of church and state.


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