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The Cider House Rules

Original Poster
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Produced by Richard N. Gladstein
Written by John Irving
Starring Tobey Maguire
Charlize Theron
Delroy Lindo
Paul Rudd
Michael Caine
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Oliver Stapleton
Editing by Lisa Zeno Churgin
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s) 17 December 1999 (limited)
Running time 126 min.
Language English
Budget $24,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $88,545,092

The Cider House Rules is a 1999 drama film, directed by Lasse Hallström, based on The Cider House Rules, a 1985 novel by John Irving. The film won two Academy Awards. John Irving documented his involvement in bringing the novel to the screen in his book My Movie Business'.



Homer Wells, an orphan, is the film's protagonist. He grew up in an orphanage directed by Dr. Wilbur Larch after being returned twice by foster parents. His first foster parents thought he was too quiet and the second parents beat him. Dr. Larch is also secretly an abortionist and trains Homer in the realm of gynaecology and abortions as an apprentice, despite Homer never even having attended high school.

The film continues as Homer decides to leave the orphanage with Candy Kendall and her boyfriend Wally Worthington, a young couple who work at the Worthington family apple orchard, who come to the clinic to have an abortion. Wally leaves to fight in World War II. While Wally is away, Homer and Candy have an affair. Later, Wally's plane is shot down and he is paralyzed from the waist down. When he returns home, Candy takes care of him and leaves Homer.

While he is away from the orphanage, Homer lives on the Worthington estate. He goes to work picking apples with Mr. Rose's team. Mr. Rose and his team are migrant workers who are employed seasonally at the orchard by the Worthingtons. Rose impregnates his own daughter, and Homer, who disapproves of abortions, realizes that in Rose's case, he must perform one for her. Later, when Mr. Rose makes another amorous advance toward his daughter, she stabs him, and as a last request, the dying Mr. Rose asks the other workers to tell the police that his death was a suicide. Homer decides to return to the orphanage after Larch's death from inhaling an ether overdose (Larch was addicted to the substance), and works as the new director. Homer learns at the end of the film that Larch had faked Homer's medical record to keep him out of the war, and later made fake credentials for Homer in order to convince the board overseeing the orphanage to appoint him as the next director. In the end, Homer comes to fill the paternal role that Larch held for the children of the orphanage.

Cast and characters


The film received a mixed reaction from critics. 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." [1] By contrast, Leonard Maltin awarded the film a rare four-star rating. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it holds a favorable 72 percent rating.

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:

Cultural references

"The Cyber House Rules", an episode of Futurama set in an orphanage, makes several references to The Cider House Rules.

"Radio Free Sealab", the pilot episode of Sealab 2021, sees Captain Murphy close a broadcast with the line "Goodnight you princes of SeaLab, you kings of the ocean" as part of a Michael Caine impersonation.

"Return to Spider-Skull Island", an episode of Venture Bros, sees Dr Orpheus looking after the titular brothers. In his usual bombastic manner, after putting them to bed, he proclaims "Goodnight, you princes of Venture, you kings of sleepovers."

See also


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Cider House Rules is a 1999 film about a young man living in a orphanage and going away to see the world. It was directed by Lasse Halström, with a screenplay by John Irving, who also wrote the novel on which it was based.

The Cider House Rules Quotes

One liners

Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England - Dr. Wilbur Larch / Homer Wells (Last lines)

I'm not a doctor. I haven't been to medical school; I haven't even been to high school. - Homer Wells

I like orange. Should I keep the teeth orange? - Fuzzy

You don't find it depressing that Homer Wells is picking apples? - Dr. Wilbur Larch

I've looked at so many women. I've seen everything, and felt nothing. But when I look at you, it hurts. - Homer Wells


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