7.0/10
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28 user 9 critic

The Member of the Wedding (1952)

A young tomboy named Frankie is forced to face her own immaturity as a result her older brother's wedding.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Edna Anhalt (screenplay), Edward Anhalt (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethel Waters ... Berenice Sadie Brown
Julie Harris ... Frankie Addams
Brandon De Wilde ... John Henry (as Brandon de Wilde)
Arthur Franz ... Jarvis Addams
Nancy Gates ... Janice
William Hansen William Hansen ... Mr. Addams
James Edwards ... Honey Camden Brown
Harry Bolden Harry Bolden ... T.T. Williams
Dickie Moore ... Soldier (as Dick Moore)
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Storyline

In a small Georgia town, twelve year old tomboy Frankie Addams feels unconnected to the world, a fact troubling to her. Her unconventional views for a twelve year old girl make her an outcast among her peers, which she in turn blames for her situation rather than anything of her own doing. Her only real friend is John Henry, her younger next door neighbor, although she doesn't see him as a friend since she doesn't consider him a peer. As her widowed father is all consumed with running his small business, Frankie is largely left to the care of their housekeeper, Berenice. Berenice tries to provide as much true guidance to Frankie and what Frankie considers her problems, although Berenice has her own troubles looking after her wild foster brother, Honey Camden, her only surviving family. In addition, Frankie largely sees Berenice's advice as the rantings of a large, crazy black woman. Frankie believes that she has finally found her place in life upon the return to town and announcement ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She became a woman in the middle of a kiss!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1954 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Complejo de boda See more »

Filming Locations:

Colusa, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of child star Ann Carter, before she retired from acting. See more »

Quotes

Narration: It happened that green and crazy summer, when Frankie was 12 years old. This was the summer when for a long time she had not been a member, she belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person and she was afraid. And then on the last Friday of August, all this was changed, it was so sudden that Frankie puzzled the whole blank afternoon, and still she did not understand.
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Alternate Versions

About 20 minutes of footage featuring Ethel Walters were originally cut by the studio after the original premiere; the missing scenes were then reinstated in later reissues in the '70s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Times: Florida, the Matchmaker (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

His Eye Is on the Sparrow
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Gabriel and Civilla Martin
Performed by Ethel Waters with Brandon De Wilde & Julie Harris
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User Reviews

The misfit
3 July 2012 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

I have always been a big fan of Mrs Harris: the neurotic woman in "the haunting"(1963),the romantic young girl in "east of Eden" (in "Kazan by Kazan,the director never stops singing her praises ,telling that he had never seen a face reflecting compassion as hers),the neurotic(again) wife in "reflections in a golden eye" (also a Carson Mc Cullers 'work which was not "cheapened " as it was always mooted;those who claimed this should read the novel before) In "members of the wedding",at 27,she portrays a 12 year-old girl and it works!Frankie looks like a tomboy,she is not feminine at all and all the lovely girls around don't want her to be part of their "club" ;she's been an outcast all her life and she wants to be part ,to be the member of something;when she sees her brother and his soon-to-be-wife ,she is fascinated by their happiness and her idee fixe is to become a part of them, to go with them on their honeymoon.

The only company she gets is her young cousin and the black servant;Brandon De Wilde was a wunderkind,one of the most brilliant child actors of all time,who,like his co-stars ,had played his part on stage before (like Patty Duke would do in "the miracle worker");De Wilde was also convincing in his parts of teenagers in "Hud" and "all fall down" ,but sadly was to die before his time;Ethel Waters shines too,in her part of the sweet tender servant:the scene when she tells the death of her husband is unforgettable;her singing is absolutely spellbinding.

This is not a happy story:the pain of growing up,when you are considered an ugly duckling,of being rejected when you need someone you can relate to,of losing the only persons who show you some affection,"member of the wedding" is all this and more.


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