The Cider House Rules (film)
|The Cider House Rules|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lasse Hallström|
|Produced by||Richard N. Gladstein
|Written by||John Irving|
|Music by||Rachel Portman|
|Editing by||Lisa Zeno Churgin|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||126 minutes|
The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with four other nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards. John Irving documented his involvement in bringing the novel to the screen in his book, My Movie Business.
Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), an orphan, is the film's protagonist. He grew up in an orphanage directed by Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) after being returned twice by foster parents; his first foster parents thought he was too quiet and the second parents beat him. Dr. Larch is addicted to ether and is also secretly an abortionist. Larch trains Homer in obstetrics and abortions as an apprentice, despite Homer never even having attended high school. Homer disapproves of abortions, though, and, although he has been trained by Larch in the field, refuses to perform them.
The film continues as Homer decides to leave the orphanage with Candy Kendall (Charlize Theron) and her boyfriend, Wally Worthington (Paul Rudd), a young couple who work at the Worthington family apple orchard and had come to the clinic to have an abortion. Wally leaves to fight in World War II. While Wally is away, Homer and Candy have an affair. Later, Wally's plane is shot down and he is paralyzed from the waist down. When he returns home, Candy takes care of him and leaves Homer.
While he is away from the orphanage, Homer lives on the Worthington estate. He goes to work picking apples with Arthur Rose's (Delroy Lindo) team. Arthur and his team are migrant workers who are employed seasonally at the orchard by the Worthingtons. Arthur rapes and impregnates his own daughter, Rose Rose (Erykah Badu), and Homer, who disapproves of abortions, realizes that in Rose's case, he must perform one for her. Later, when Rose Rose tries to run away, her father notices and goes to say goodbye. Fearing that he will attempt to rape her a second time, she stabs him and flees. At a last request, the dying Arthur asks the other workers to tell the police that his death was a suicide. Eventually, Homer decides to return to the orphanage after Dr. Larch's death from inhaling an ether overdose, and works as the new director.
At the end of the film, Homer learns that Larch had faked Homer's medical record to keep him out of the war, and later made fake credentials for Homer in order to convince the board overseeing the orphanage to appoint him as the next director. Finally, Homer fills the paternal role that Larch previously held for the children of the orphanage.
- Tobey Maguire as Homer Wells
- Michael Caine as Dr. Wilbur Larch
- Charlize Theron as Candy Kendall
- Paul Rudd as Lt. Wally Worthington
- Delroy Lindo as Arthur Rose
- Erykah Badu as Rose Rose
- Heavy D as Peaches
- K. Todd Freeman as Muddy
- Kieran Culkin as Buster
- Jane Alexander as Nurse Edna
- Kathy Baker as Nurse Angela
- Kate Nelligan as Olive Worthington
- Spencer Diamond as Curly
- Paz de la Huerta as Mary Agnes
- J.K. Simmons as Ray Kendall
- Evan Parke as Jack
- Jimmy Flynn as Vernon
- Erik Per Sullivan as Fuzzy S.
- Skye McCole Bartusiak as Hazel
The film received a generally positive reception from critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded it just two stars, saying: "The story touches many themes, lingers with some of them, moves on and arrives at nowhere in particular." By contrast, Leonard Maltin awarded the film a rare four-star rating. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it holds a favorable 71% rating.
Differences from novel 
Due to time constraints, the film excludes many portions of the novel, including the characters Melony (another orphan) and Angel (Candy and Homer's secret child) who were major characters in the book. John Irving, who wrote the film's screenplay, has stated that he made this decision because he would rather have omitted subplots and characters than write an adaptation that could not really do justice to them.
Academy Awards 
The Cider House Rules won two Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional five:
- Won - Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Michael Caine;
- Won - Best Adapted Screenplay: John Irving;
- Nominated - Best Picture: Richard N. Gladstein;
- Nominated - Best Director: Lasse Hallström;
- Nominated - Best Editing: Lisa Zeno Churgin;
- Nominated - Best Music, Original Score: Rachel Portman; and
- Nominated - Best Art Direction: David Gropman and Beth A. Rubino.
Cultural references 
- "The Cyber House Rules", an episode of Futurama set in an orphanage, makes several references to The Cider House Rules.
- "Radio Free Sealab", the pilot episode of Sealab 2021, sees Captain Murphy close a broadcast with the line "Goodnight you princes of Sealab, you kings of the ocean" as part of a Michael Caine impersonation.
- "Return to Spider-Skull Island", an episode of The Venture Bros., sees Dr. Orpheus looking after the titular brothers. In his usual bombastic manner, after putting them to bed, he proclaims "Goodnight, you princes of Venture, you kings of sleepovers."
- "Gang Gets a New Member", an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the gang opens up a time capsule filled with "valuables" including "The Cider House Rules" on laser disc.
- Music from Rachel Portman's original score has been used for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign in television and radio advertisements.
- In American Dad! Episode 7x03, Roger says to Steve at bedtime, "Goodnight you prince of New England, you Toms of Maine."
- The movie was filmed on location in Battleboro, Vermont, Bellow Falls, Vermont, Corea, Maine, Dummerston, Vermont, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Northampton, Massachusetts, Lenox, Massachusetts, Northfield, Massachusetts, and Bar Harbor, Maine.
Songs featured in the film 
"My Ideal" was featured in the film written by Richard A. Whiting, Newell Chase and Leo Robin in 1930. In the movie the song was sung by Margaret Whiting (Richard A. Whiting's Daughter) with Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra.
The song "All I Want Is Just One Girl" featured in the film was written by Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin in 1930. In the movie the song is performed by Gus Arnheim and His Coconut Grove Ambassadors
See also 
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Cider House Rules (film)|
- The Cider House Rules at the Internet Movie Database
- The Cider House Rules at Box Office Mojo
- The Cider House Rules at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Cider House Rules at Metacritic