The Handmaid's Tale

Synopsis: Set in a Fascistic future America, The Handmaid's Tale tells the story of Kate, a handmaid. In this America, the religious right has taken over and gone hog-wild. Kate is a criminal, guilty of the crime of trying to escape from the US, and is sentenced to become a Handmaid. The job of a Handmaid is to bear the children of the man to whom she is assigned. After ruthless group training by Aunt Lydia in the proper way to behave, Kate is assigned as Handmaid to the Commander. Kate is attracted to Nick, the Commander's chauffeur. At the same time, a resistance movement begins to challenge the regime.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Volker Schlöndorff
Production: HBO Video
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

[ Engine rumbling ]

[ Doors closing ]

[ Engine revving ]

I'm tired, Mommy.

OK, OK, sweetie.

- We're all tired, honey.

- OK.

Here we go.

Hold tight.

- Come on, sit.

Now hold on tight.

- Like that.

[ OVER P.A.]

This is Border Patrol.

This is Border Patrol.

You are approaching the border

of the Republic of Gilead.

You're not allowed any closer.

Turn back.

This is Border Patrol.

This is Border Patrol.

You are approaching the border

of the Republic of Gilead.

You are not allowed any closer.

Turn back.

This is Border Patrol.

This is Border Patrol.

You are approaching

the border of the Republic...

I'll keep them busy.

[ Screaming ]

No! No!

[ Gunfire ]

[ Crying ]

[ Gunshot ]


Jill! Get down!

[ Shouting ]

Jill! No!

My baby!


[ Screaming ]

- Let's go.

- [ Shouting ]

Come on.

[ Horn honking ]

[ Horn honking ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Results for

following numbers...

3964, positive.

4281, positive.

6836, positive.

2184, negative.

- 958...

- Don't push me!

...98, positive.

6131, negative.

7631, positive.

5128, negative.

2147, negative.

9282, negative.

No, you've made a mistake.

You've made a mistake, I...

I know! Please!

Let me go!

[ Shouting ]

All right. Let's go.

[ Shouting continues ]




[ Shouting ]


[ Match striking ]

Hello, girls. Relax.

Relax. I'm Aunt Lydia.

Are you all well?

Come on, I want you to say,

"We're very well, Aunt Lydia."

So, are you well?

Very well, Aunt Lydia.

That's great,

because you are well.

You're healthy,

you're free from infections...

and you're the only ones

whose tests are positive.

You're the lucky ones.

We're the lucky ones.


You're going to be Handmaids.

You're going to serve God

and your country.

All right, girls.

Into the bus. Let's go.

[ Engine starts ]

How long were you in?

I'm not sure.

What'd you do,

and how'd they get you?

We tried to cross the border.

What about you?

Gender treachery.

I like girls.

Christ, they could have sent you

to the colonies.

They don't send you

to the colonies...

if your ovaries

are still jumping.

All right, sisters.


Move it.

Move it!

Get on that bus. Move it!

Go on, sisters.

You can't make me

break my vows!

Get on that bus. Quiet.

Don't, please!

# Oh, God from whom

all blessings flow #

# Hear us, your daughters

here below #

# They house the vessels

of the seed #

# Of those who come

to us in need #

# Remove our anger,

cleanse our will #

# And leave us empty

to refill #

Let us pray.

Oh, God, make us fruitful.


Oh, God, make us fruitful.

Stop it! Why do you think

God made you a woman?

[ Whistle blowing ]

You can't...

Mortify my flesh

that I may be multiplied.

Mortify my flesh

that I may be multiplied.

- Amen.

- My God!


[ Shouting ]


Good night, girls.

[ Light clicks off ]

What's your name?

Kate. What's yours?


I am Joanna.

- I'm Alice.

- I'm Stephanie.

I'm Susan.

My name is Kathleen.

I'm Cara.

I am Julie.




Eat it, and you'll like it.

That's enough!

You're getting the best.

There's a war on, you know.

The air got too full once

of chemicals and radiation.


The rain water

swarmed with toxic molecules.


These poisons flowed into the rivers,

crept into people.

Place your right arm

in the sleeve.


The result, sterility.

Remove your arm.

Today, only one out of

a hundred women...

can still bear children,

and some women stopped.

Believing there would be

no future, they refused.

Refused to bear children!

They wouldn't even try!

They were lazy women!

They were sluts.

There is more than

one kind of freedom.

In the days of anarchy,

it was "freedom to".

Now, you're being given

"freedom from."

Don't underrate it.

[ Footsteps ]

[ Screaming ]

[ Sobbing ]


I hate to punish her,

but she abused herself...

and your body is

a temple of purity.

So let that be

a lesson to you.

We know men can't help it,

but we're different.

We have self control.


[ Indistinct shouting ]

Remember, you're not her equal.

You're a Handmaid.

That is your role in life.

Do you understand?


She could do you

a lot of harm.

Well, if you are chosen,

it will be a great honor.

[ Water running ]

[ Whistling ]

I must stress

that another incident...

of the previous nature

will not be tolerated.

But I think you'll find

this young woman satisfactory.

You may come in now.

[ Leaves rustling,

water spritzing ]

Come in.

Sit down.

[ Spritzing continues ]

Is this your first placement?

Yes, it is.

Well, here's how it works.

I see as little

of you as possible.


But if I get trouble...

I give trouble back.

Is that clear?

Yes, ma'am.

I've read your file.

I know you're not stupid.

Do you want this job?

- Yes, ma'am.

- Don't call me "ma'am".

You're not a Martha.

You will sleep here,

in your own room...

but if the Commander goes

to the front or to the capital...

you will go back to sleep

at the Red Center.

Now, I want to ask you

one question.

Answer from your heart.

Do you want a baby?

Do you really want one?

It won't work if you

don't want one.

Do you really want

to have a baby?

Yes, I do.

We could help each other.

We could.

[ Clapping ]

Sit down.

Everybody sit, girls.

Right. Anyone.

There was date rape,

even on campus.

[ Indistinct chatter ]

It was horrible.

Name her.

Yes, your name?

Come on.

Step forward now.

What am I supposed to say?

Just tell us how it was

back then.

It was horrible.

Speak up.

I was raped when

I was fourteen by six guys...

in my high school class.

It, um...

It was at a party.

We'd all been drinking.

I thought that they

were my friends.

Then I, uh,

I had... an abortion.

[ Gasping ]

But it wasn't my fault.

My mother, she made me do it.

She wouldn't let me

have the baby.

Whose fault was it?

Her fault.

[ All repeating ]

Who led them on?

She did.

[ All repeating ]

Why did God allow

such a terrible thing to happen?

- Teach us a lesson.

- Let's hear it.

Teach us a lesson.

[ All repeating ]

What is she?

She's a whore.

[ Chanting ]


I'm going crazy.

This is a f***ing loony bin.

That's enough.


I didn't...

I didn't mean to do it.

I led them on.

I assume the pain. I'm sorry.

Very good, Janine.


[ Door creaks open ]

Is that you?


God, do I need a cigarette.


I have a placement.

I go tomorrow.

Oh, f***! I'll miss you.

I'll miss you, too.

The damn wives

don't want me.

I don't know why.

Maybe I scare them.

Maybe they think I want

to touch their tits.

Maybe it's the

damn f***ing husbands.

Maybe they know

I think they suck.

Jesus, Moira.

Be careful, for Christ's sake.

I don't know

what's wrong with me.

I gotta get outta here, Kate.

I gotta do something.

I'm gonna fake like I'm sick.

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Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party (1957), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. His screenplay adaptations of others' works include The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1971), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Trial (1993), and Sleuth (2007). He also directed or acted in radio, stage, television, and film productions of his own and others' works. Pinter was born and raised in Hackney, east London, and educated at Hackney Downs School. He was a sprinter and a keen cricket player, acting in school plays and writing poetry. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art but did not complete the course. He was fined for refusing National service as a conscientious objector. Subsequently, he continued training at the Central School of Speech and Drama and worked in repertory theatre in Ireland and England. In 1956 he married actress Vivien Merchant and had a son, Daniel, born in 1958. He left Merchant in 1975 and married author Lady Antonia Fraser in 1980. Pinter's career as a playwright began with a production of The Room in 1957. His second play, The Birthday Party, closed after eight performances, but was enthusiastically reviewed by critic Harold Hobson. His early works were described by critics as "comedy of menace". Later plays such as No Man's Land (1975) and Betrayal (1978) became known as "memory plays". He appeared as an actor in productions of his own work on radio and film. He also undertook a number of roles in works by other writers. He directed nearly 50 productions for stage, theatre and screen. Pinter received over 50 awards, prizes, and other honours, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005 and the French Légion d'honneur in 2007. Despite frail health after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in December 2001, Pinter continued to act on stage and screen, last performing the title role of Samuel Beckett's one-act monologue Krapp's Last Tape, for the 50th anniversary season of the Royal Court Theatre, in October 2006. He died from liver cancer on 24 December 2008. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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