Men Don't Leave

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Time Out says

When her husband dies in an explosion, leaving her with massive debts, two young sons and no visible means of support, Beth Macauley (Lange) moves to a cramped apartment in the city, where she lands a thankless job in a gourmet foodstore. While her younger son (Korsmo) takes to petty burglary, and teenage Chris (O'Donnell) finds solace with a young nurse (Cusack), Beth starts an affair with a musician (Howard); but progress is impeded as she gives way to delayed shock and declines into depression. What distinguishes this weepie is its deglamorised approach: all-consuming angst is anchored in the minutiae of everyday life and wry observation. While not without its occasional lapses into over-long sob sessions, Barbara Benedek and Brickman's intelligent script offers strong characterisations, and the performances - particularly from Lange and Korsmo - are excellent. Absorbing, truthful, and full of tender insight.
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Release details

UK release:

1990

Duration:

114 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Paul Brickman

Cast:

Chris O'Donnell, Tom Mason, Kathy Bates, Joan Cusack, Arliss Howard, Jessica Lange, Charlie Korsmo

Music:

Thomas Newman

Production Designer:

Barbara Ling

Editor:

Richard Chew

Cinematography:

Bruce Surtees

Screenwriter:

Paul Brickman, Barbara Benedek

Producer:

Jon Avnet

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