The Pursuit of Happiness

Overview

William Popper Michael Sarrazin is the son of a stockbroker and is thoroughly disenchanted with "the system." So much so that even though he can prove that he ran over a woman in his car entirely by accident, he accepts a sentence for manslaughter. His participation in some prison violence motivates him to attempt to escape, though he has only a week to go on his sentence. Having escaped, he and his old girlfriend Barbara Hershey make a run for Canada. The story is adapted from the novel The Pursuit of Happiness ...
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Overview

William Popper Michael Sarrazin is the son of a stockbroker and is thoroughly disenchanted with "the system." So much so that even though he can prove that he ran over a woman in his car entirely by accident, he accepts a sentence for manslaughter. His participation in some prison violence motivates him to attempt to escape, though he has only a week to go on his sentence. Having escaped, he and his old girlfriend Barbara Hershey make a run for Canada. The story is adapted from the novel The Pursuit of Happiness by Thomas Rogers. As William's starchy grandmother, Ruth White, notable for her work in To Kill a Mockingbird and Midnight Cowboy makes her last film appearance.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Very much a film of its time, The Pursuit of Happiness might have made some sort of impact on its audience in 1970 but it fails to make much of an impact upon modern viewers. Pursuit is a frustrating movie, because one feels that all involved were attempting a serious critique of society as it existed in 1970, but the result is dull and tedious and that mitigates its effectiveness. Part of the problem is that the lead character is, intentionally, a cipher; he embodies non-involvement and indifference, reflecting a point of view that this is a legitimate response to a nation in turmoil due to rot and corruption that has eaten away at its soul for decades. However, it's difficult to build a compelling film around indifference, especially when that indifference is taken to such an absurd extreme that the character prefers to go to prison rather than defend his actions (or inactions). Had this been treated in an equally absurd fashion, there could have been the potential for pointed satire and amusement; but it's treated seriously, and it simply doesn't wash. For once, Michael Sarrazin has a part that plays to his strengths -- a great look and a vacancy in personality that is just what the part calls for. Robert Mulligan directs with a laidback intensity that perfectly suits the material, but that doesn't transcend it and that ultimately therefore makes it rather a drag.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/8/2009
  • UPC: 043396316331
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 74,214

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Barbara Hershey Jane Kauffman
Michael Sarrazin William Popper
Ruth White Mrs. Popper
Joseph Attles Holmes
Ted Beniades Traffic Cop
William Devane Pilot
David F. Doyle James Moran
Charles Durning 2nd Guard
Beulah Garrick Josephine
Albert Henderson McArdle
Arthur Hill John Popper
Barnard Hughes Judge Vogel
Robert Klein Melvin Lasher
Ed Kovens 1st Guard
Gilbert Lewis Convict
E.G. Marshall Daniel Lawrence
Rue McClanahan Mrs. O'Mara
Tom Rosqui Defense Attorney Keller
Ed Setrakian Policeman
Jack Somack Judge Palumbo
Sada Thompson Ruth Lawrence
Ralph Waite Detective
Peter White Terence Lawrence
Randy Newman Singer
Technical Credits
Robert Mulligan Director
Folmar Blangsted Editor
Jon Boothe Screenwriter
Dave Grusin Score Composer
George Jenkins Art Director
Richard C. Kratina Cinematographer
Robert Laden Makeup
Dennis L. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Randy Newman Songwriter
Arthur Piantadosi Sound/Sound Designer
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Ben Rutter Set Decoration/Design
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
Alan Shayne Associate Producer
George L. Sherman Screenwriter
David Susskind Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Pursuit of Happiness
1. Chapter 1 [8:27]
2. Chapter 2 [7:13]
3. Chapter 3 [8:43]
4. Chapter 4 [7:33]
5. Chapter 5 [8:41]
6. Chapter 6 [7:03]
7. Chapter 7 [7:45]
8. Chapter 8 [7:16]
9. Chapter 9 [8:02]
10. Chapter 10 [8:34]
11. Chapter 11 [5:58]
12. Chapter 12 [7:36]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Pursuit of Happiness
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Previews
      The Norman Lear Collection
      Columbia Classics Trailer
      The Three Stooges Collection
      The Pursuit of Happiness
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