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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
1,791 ( 607)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

A haunting tale of sexuality in a country gone wrong. See more »


Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1990 (West Germany) 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are several Durham landmarks in North Carolina featured in the film. They include: Duke University Chapel, where the Salvaging/Particicution was filmed; the streets near Brightleaf Square and West Village, where roadblocks and checkpoints were built; The American Tobacco Campus (ATC), where the Handmaids first meet Aunt Lydia; and the Lucky Strike Chimney in the background of the ATC. See more »

Goofs

The Guardians and Angels on the scaffolding in the background of the "particicution" scene. See more »

Quotes

Moira: [to Aunt Lydia as she and Kate tie her up in the bathroom] If you're lucky they'll find you before Christmas. Remember I didn't kill you.
[taps Aunt Lydia's blindfold]
Moira: I like your panties.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Soupçons (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Hundredth (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow)
Written by Louis Bourgeois
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User Reviews

great book but why did the creators decide to ruin this film?
26 May 2004 | by lorna_duncSee all my reviews

I have just one point to make about this film, and that is why on earth did the director decided to name Offred kate. In the book, which I hope to god the producers etc actually read, there is no mention of the name kate what so ever, the only name that we could possibly guess would be June which is supplied to us in the first chapter but even then we never learn her real name. And this is of great significant importance, the fact that we as readers or viewers never learn her name means something and to simply choose a name out of a hat is destroying a piece of the character created for us by Margaret Attwood. Also reading the plot outline makes me wonder whether whoever wrote that even saw the film, especially where it says "Kate is a criminal, guilty of the crime of trying to escape from the US, and is sentenced to become a Handmaid." when really "KATE" becomes a handmaid as her husband was married once before and their marriage never really existed in the eyes of the law. Also i read on to see that "After ruthless group training by Serena Joy in the proper way to behave, Kate is assigned as Handmaid to the Commander." Well that is not at all true as anyone who has seen this film will notice that Serena Joy is the commanders wife and not one of the Aunts and the Red Centre. Please in the future get your facts right and also thanks to director Volker Schlöndorff for ruining a perfectly enjoyable book. My advice stick to the book and not the watered down version for the small minded.


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