The Cider House Rules (film)

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The Cider House Rules
Cider house rules.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Produced by Richard N. Gladstein
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Austin Whiteley
Screenplay by John Irving
Based on The Cider House Rules 
by John Irving
Starring Tobey Maguire
Michael Caine
Charlize Theron
Paul Rudd
Delroy Lindo
Erykah Badu
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Oliver Stapleton
Edited by Lisa Zeno Churgin
Production
  company
FilmColony
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s)
  • December 10, 1999 (1999-12-10)
Running time 125 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million[2]
Box office $88,545,092[2]

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.

John Irving won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Michael Caine won his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his first coming in 1986 for the film Hannah and Her Sisters.

Plot[edit]

Homer Wells, an orphan, grew up in an orphanage directed by Dr. Wilbur Larch 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, he refuses to perform them.

The film continues as Homer decides to leave the orphanage with Candy Kendall and her boyfriend, Wally Worthington, a young couple who work at the Worthington family apple orchard and came 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 over the course of the film. While he is away from the orphanage, Homer lives on the Worthington estate. He goes to work picking apples with Arthur Rose's team. Arthur and his team are migrant workers who are employed seasonally at the orchard by the Worthingtons. Homer and Candy become much closer during this period of harvest and spend more time together, while Wally is in Burma fighting.

After Arthur Rose and his team come back to work the orchard in the following season it comes to light that he has raped and impregnated his own daughter, Rose Rose, who confides in Candy about this. She then tells Homer only after he just finds out that she is pregnant and is having morning sickness. Homer decides he must help Rose because she is about to run away and Arthur is trying to stop Rose from leaving in the middle of the night. Homer offers to help as only a doctor can. Later, when Rose Rose tries to run away, her father notices and goes to say goodbye; Rose stabs him and flees. As 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 an accidental 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.

The title is from the list of rules in the house used by the itinerant fruit pickers. They observe that the rules of the house have been made without the occupants' consent by people who do not live their lives, and so do not face their problems. Consequently they feel that they can ignore these rules.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

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."[3] By contrast, Leonard Maltin awarded the film a rare four-star rating. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it holds a favorable 71% rating.[4]

The American Film Institute nominated the film for its 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list, for the line, "Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England."[5]

Differences from novel[edit]

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[edit]

The Cider House Rules won two Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional five:

Songs featured in the film[edit]

Several famous songs written by Richard A. Whiting are featured in the film. notably "Ukulele Lady" written by Richard A. Whiting and Gus Kahn in 1925. In the film it was performed by Vaughn DeLeath

"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[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]