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Head Over Heels (1979) - movie overview

Head Over Heels (1979)

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Plot Description

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 32 minutes

Country USA

Studio Triple Play Pictures, United Artists

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Other Titles
• Head Over Heels
• Chilly Scenes of Winter

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Genre: Drama, Comedy

Plot: An embodiment of the Beckett quote that there is nothing funnier than unhappiness, Joan Micklin Silver's adaptation of the Anne Beattie novel stars John Heard as Charles Richardson, a civil servant in Utah who is consumed by his obsession with Laura Conley (Mary Beth Hurt), a former lover. Their relationship had developed during a short hiatus in Laura's marriage; however, she'd ended it because of Charles's overadoring behavior, coupled with her guilt over leaving her husband and stepchild. The disconsolate lover conducts imaginary conversations with Laura, grills her colleagues for information about her, and watches her drive her child to school, holding out the forlorn hope that she will decide to permanently leave her indifferent husband, Ox (Mark Metcalf). While this behavior might seem to warrant a call to the police, Charles's pursuit is more longingly meandering than monomaniacal, and his attentions aren't entirely discouraged by the indecisive Laura. In this bittersweet film, lightly tinged with post-1960s malaise, Micklin Silver perfectly catches the tone of Beattie's elliptical, deadpan comic novel. Heard and Hurt are wonderful in their nuanced roles.

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 Directed by
Joan Micklin Silver
Crossing Delancey, Loverboy, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even
 Written by
Joan Micklin Silver
Crossing Delancey, Loverboy, Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even
John Heard
Home Alone, Big, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Griffin Dunne
Quiz Show, The Big Blue, 40 Days and 40 Nights
Mary Beth Hurt
Bringing Out the Dead, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Family Man
Peter Riegert
Traffic, The Mask, Animal House
Kenneth McMillan
Amadeus, Dune, Runaway Train
Gloria Grahame
It's a Wonderful Life, Oklahoma!, The Big Heat
Nora Heflin
The Fantastic Planet, Flashpoint, The Initiation of Sarah
 Music By
Ken Lauber
The World of Henry Orient, Hearts of the West, Kent State
Toots Thielemans
Une femme ou deux, Nathalie Loriers: A Lady in Jazz is not the official site for this film.
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