John and Mary (film)

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John and Mary
John and mary poster.jpg
Directed by Peter Yates
Produced by Ben Kadish
Written by John Mortimer
Mervyn Jones (novel)
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Mia Farrow
Michael Tolan
Music by Quincy Jones
Cinematography Gayne Rescher
Edited by Frank P. Keller
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
December 14, 1969 (US)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.1 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

John and Mary is a 1969 American romantic drama film directed by Peter Yates. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow in the title roles, directly on the heels of Midnight Cowboy and Rosemary's Baby, respectively (as well as Bullitt for Yates). The screenplay was adapted by John Mortimer from the Mervyn Jones novel.

It was released theatrically in North America on December 14, 1969.[2] It received an R rating upon its original release,[3] which was later downgraded to a PG rating.


John and Mary begins the morning after John and Mary meet in a bar, during a conversation about Jean-Luc Godard's Week End, and go home with each other. The story unfolds during the day as they belatedly get to know each other over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flashbacks of their previous bad relationships are interspersed throughout when something in their conversation brings the thought up.


Actor Role
Mia Farrow Mary
Dustin Hoffman John
Michael Tolan James
Olympia Dukakis John's Mother
Stanley Beck Stanley

Critical reception[edit]

Before the release of the film, both Hoffman and Farrow made the cover of Time in February 1969, with the headline "The Young Actors: Stars and Anti-Stars". This marked and celebrated new actors like Hoffman and Farrow (both hot off their successes in The Graduate and Rosemary's Baby respectively) as significant to their generation.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says, "John and Mary is supposed to be a contemporary movie, I guess, and yet it's curiously out of touch. John and Mary shadow box uneasily with the American language, trying to sound like all people their age without sounding too much like any particular person."[4] John Thompson of the Orlando Weekly calls it "a delectable New Wave–inspired dish for thoughtful viewers tired of the same old menu."[5] Vincent Canby of The New York Times concludes, "There is nothing wrong with the idea of John and Mary, just with its execution."[6]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports 3 positive and 5 negative reviews of the film.[7]



  • 1970 BAFTA Award, Best Actor - Dustin Hoffman (For Midnight Cowboy and John and Mary)[8]


  • 1970 BAFTA Award, Best Actress - Mia Farrow (For: Rosemary's Baby, Secret Ceremony and John and Mary)
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Actor, Musical/Comedy - Dustin Hoffman
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Actress, Musical/Comedy - Mia Farrow
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Screenplay - John Mortimer
  • 1970 WGA Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay - John Mortimer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11. See also Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p231. Please note figures are rentals accruing to distributors and not total gross.
  2. ^ Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ Ratings @ IMDb.
  4. ^ Roger Ebert @
  5. ^ John Thompson @ Orlando Weekly.
  6. ^ Vincent Canby @
  7. ^ Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ Awards @ IMDb.

External links[edit]