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Bernice Bobs Her Hair1976

  • 3.8
  • passes the bechdel test
It's the hot summer of 1919. Visiting her cousin Marjorie (Veronica Cartwright), sweet-but-dull Bernice (Shelley Duvall) is transformed into a smooth-talking man-trap by her vampish kin. However, the “make-over” works too well, Bernice becomes the belle of the ball, captivating every boy's interest, even Marjorie's boyfriend Warren (Bud Cort). The now worldly Bernice has the last laugh in a clever and ironic twist. One of the best screen translations of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary work, Bernice also includes the delightful supporting role performances of Dennis Christopher (BREAKING AWAY) and Polly Holliday (ALICE).

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Member Reviews (6)

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top reviewer

Things seemed pretty tense and tight for a while, but the ending was very satisfying. Put a smile on my face. Bernice's growth and courage was just right.

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top reviewer

A charming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's marvelous short story! Shelley Duval is perfection itself as Bernice. Her performance is absolutely enchanting.

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top reviewer

Joan Macklin Silver's Bernice Bobs Her Hair (1976) is a very effective dramatic presentation. The period settings, costumes, and artifacts are splendid. The acting by the whole cast is very effective, convincingly portraying the antics of a young group of well to do friends, within the constraints of 1920's social conceptions of "propriety and decorum". Shelley Duvall in the lead role as Bernice gives an exceptionally strong, and convincing portrayal of a young woman who decides to update the socially staid demeanor of her conservative upbringing, to keep in step with a more modern, more free spirited social demeanor. Her portrayal of the subtle personality changes of her character was quite believable, belying a mastery of the acting craft. The cinematography was rather good too, in spite of the rather poor picture quality of the film, perhaps due to dated recording technology. The vibrant colors of the sets shined through, nonetheless. I never read the literary work from which this film was adapted but nonetheless this film stands quite well on its own merits as a cinematic production.

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top reviewer

Average quality 1970's made-for-tv movie, which is to say pretty bad.

really enjoyed the awkwardness here. i never hear old fashioned all american ideology music paired with personal failure and boredom in historical movies. this was a nice change in that way! all white casts always oversimplify. but the tension between the maids and the girls said a lot.

Great fun! Follows the story very well.