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The Cider House Rules (film)

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Title: The Cider House Rules (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 72nd Academy Awards, 1999 in film, Kathy Baker, John Irving, Erykah Badu
Collection: 1990S Drama Films, 1990S Romantic Drama Films, 1999 Films, American Drama Films, American Films, American Romantic Drama Films, English-Language Films, Films About Abortion, Films About Orphans, Films Based on American Novels, Films Based on Novels, Films Based on Works by John Irving, Films Directed by Lasse Hallström, Films Featuring a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award Winning Performance, Films Set in Maine, Films Set in the 1920S, Films Set in the 1940S, Films Shot in Maine, Films Whose Writer Won the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award, Incest in Film, Medical-Themed Films, Miramax Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Cider House Rules (film)

The Cider House Rules
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Produced by Richard N. Gladstein
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Austin Whiteley
Screenplay by John Irving
Based on The Cider House Rules 
by John Irving
Starring Tobey Maguire
Michael Caine
Charlize Theron
Paul Rudd
Delroy Lindo
Erykah Badu
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Oliver Stapleton
Edited by Lisa Zeno Churgin
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • December 10, 1999 (1999-12-10)
Running time
125 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million[2]
Box office $88,545,092[2]

The Cider House Rules is a 1999 American drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on John Irving's novel of the same name. The film won two Academy Awards, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with four other nominations at the 72nd Academy Awards. Irving documented his involvement in bringing the novel to the screen in his book, My Movie Business.

Irving won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Michael Caine won his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Differences from novel 4
  • Academy Awards 5
  • Songs featured in the film 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • External links 9


Homer Wells, an orphan, grows up in a Maine orphanage directed by kindly, avuncular Dr. Wilbur Larch. Homer is returned twice by foster parents; his first foster parents thought he was too quiet and the second parents beat him. Dr. Larch is addicted to ether and is also secretly an abortionist. Conditions at the orphanage are very spartan, but the children are treated with love and respect, and they are like an extended family. Each night before they go to sleep, Dr. Larch says, "Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England!" as both encouragement and a kind of blessing.

Homer, the oldest among the orphans, is very bright, helpful and even-tempered, so Larch trains him in obstetrics and abortions as an apprentice, despite Homer never even having attended high school. Homer disapproves of abortions, and although he has been trained by Larch in the field, he refuses to perform them. After several years, Homer is very skillful and confident in performing obstetrical duties and Larch wants Homer to take over his position after he retires. But Homer finds this idea impossible, both because he lacks formal medical education and because he wants to see more of the world than just the orphanage.

Homer leaves the orphanage with Candy Kendall and her boyfriend, Wally Worthington, a young couple who work at the Worthington family apple orchard and who came to the clinic to have an abortion. While he is away from the orphanage, Homer lives on the Worthington estate in a bunkhouse called the Cider House. Wally leaves to fight in World War II. Homer is exempt from military service because Dr. Larch has diagnosed that he has a heart condition. While Wally is away, Homer and Candy have an affair. He goes to work picking apples with Arthur Rose's team. Arthur and his team are migrant workers who are employed seasonally at the orchard by the Worthingtons. When Homer reads them the rules of the Cider House that have been posted (as they cannot do so themselves), the workers observe that the rules have been made without the occupants' consent by people who do not live their lives, and so do not face their problems. Consequently, they feel that they can ignore these rules. Homer and Candy become much closer during this period of harvest and spend more time together, while Wally is in Burma fighting.

After Arthur Rose and his team come back to work the orchard the following season, it comes to light that he has raped and impregnated his own daughter, Rose Rose, who confides in Candy about this. She then tells Homer only after he finds out that Rose is pregnant and having morning sickness. Homer decides he must help Rose because she is about to run away and Arthur is trying to stop Rose from leaving in the middle of the night, and agrees to perform an abortion. A few days later, when Rose Rose tries to run away, her father notices and goes to say goodbye; Rose stabs him and flees. As a last request, the dying Arthur asks Homer and another worker to tell the police that his death was a suicide.

Wally returns from Burma a paraplegic, and although she loves Homer, Candy decides to go where she is most needed. Immediately following this decision, Homer learns that Dr. Larch has succumbed to an accidental ether overdose. Eventually, Homer decides he too should go where he is most needed and returns to the orphanage, where he is greeted joyously by both the children and staff. He is surprised to discover that he has been accepted as the new director.

At the end of the film, Homer learns that Larch had faked his diagnosis and medical record to keep him out of the war. Larch also later made fake credentials for Homer in order to convince the board overseeing the orphanage to appoint him as the next director. Finally, Homer fills the paternal role that Larch previously held for the children of the orphanage, saying, "Goodnight you princes of Maine, you kings of New England!"


Kyle Robidoux as orphan


The film received critical acclaim. Leonard Maltin awarded the film a rare four-star rating. By contrast, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded it just two stars, saying: "The story touches many themes, lingers with some of them, moves on and arrives at nowhere in particular."[3] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it holds a favorable 71% rating.[4]

The American Film Institute nominated the film for its 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes list, for the line, "Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England."[5]

Differences from novel

Due to time constraints, the film excludes many portions of the novel, including the characters Melony (another orphan) and Angel (Candy and Homer's secret child) who were major characters in the book. John Irving, who wrote the film's screenplay, has stated that he made this decision because he would rather have omitted subplots and characters than write an adaptation that could not really do justice to them.

Academy Awards

The Cider House Rules won two Academy Awards and was nominated for an additional five:

Songs featured in the film

Several famous songs written by Richard A. Whiting are featured in the film. notably "Ukulele Lady" written by Richard A. Whiting and Gus Kahn in 1925. In the film it was performed by Vaughn DeLeath

"My Ideal" was featured in the film written by Richard A. Whiting, Newell Chase, and Leo Robin in 1930. In the movie the song was sung by Margaret Whiting (Richard A. Whiting's Daughter) with Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra.

The song "All I Want Is Just One Girl" featured in the film was written by Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin in 1930. In the movie the song is performed by Gus Arnheim and His Coconut Grove Ambassadors

See also


  1. ^ (12)"THE CIDER HOUSE RULES".  
  2. ^ a b The Cider House Rules at Box Office Mojo Retrieved July 6, 2013
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 17, 1999). "The Cider House Rules". Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times.
  4. ^ "The Cider House Rules (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  5. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees

External links

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