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John and Mary is a 1969 American romantic drama film directed by Peter Yates, directly following the success of his film Bullitt. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow in the title roles, directly following their success in Midnight Cowboy and Rosemary's Baby, respectively. The screenplay was adapted by John Mortimer from the Mervyn Jones novel.

John and Mary
John and mary poster.jpg
Directed byPeter Yates
Produced byBen Kadish
Written byJohn Mortimer
Mervyn Jones (novel)
StarringDustin Hoffman
Mia Farrow
Michael Tolan
Music byQuincy Jones
CinematographyGayne Rescher
Edited byFrank P. Keller
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
December 14, 1969 (US)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4.1 million (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

It was released theatrically in North America on December 14, 1969.[2] It received an R rating upon its original release,[3] which was later downgraded to a PG rating.



John and Mary begins the morning after John and Mary meet in a bar, during a conversation about Jean-Luc Godard's Week End, and go home with each other. The story unfolds during the day as they belatedly get to know each other over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flashbacks of their previous bad relationships are interspersed throughout when something in their conversation brings the thought up.


Actor Role
Mia Farrow Mary
Dustin Hoffman John
Michael Tolan James
Olympia Dukakis John's Mother
Stanley Beck Stanley
Tyne Daly Hillary

Critical receptionEdit

Before the release of the film, both Hoffman and Farrow made the cover of Time in February 1969, with the headline "The Young Actors: Stars and Anti-Stars". This marked and celebrated new actors like Hoffman and Farrow (both hot off their successes in The Graduate and Rosemary's Baby respectively) as significant to their generation.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says, "John and Mary is supposed to be a contemporary movie, I guess, and yet it's curiously out of touch. John and Mary shadow box uneasily with the American language, trying to sound like all people their age without sounding too much like any particular person."[4] John Thompson of the Orlando Weekly calls it "a delectable New Wave–inspired dish for thoughtful viewers tired of the same old menu."[5] Vincent Canby of The New York Times concludes, "There is nothing wrong with the idea of John and Mary, just with its execution."[6]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports 3 positive and 5 negative reviews of the film.[7]

Box OfficeEdit

According to Fox records the film required $6,300,000 in rentals to break even and by 11 December 1970 had made $8,150,000 so made a profit to the studio.[8]

Musical score and soundtrackEdit

John and Mary
Soundtrack album by
GenreFilm score
ProducerQuincy Jones
Quincy Jones chronology
Cactus Flower
John and Mary
Gula Matari

The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones and the soundtrack album. featuring vocalists Evie Sands, The Strange Things, Jeff Bridges and The Morgan Ames Singers and four classical pieces performed by a brass ensemble, was released was released on the A&M label in 1970.[9][10]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Quincy Jones except where noted

  1. "Maybe Tomorrow (Vocal)" (Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman) − 3:10
  2. "Bump in the Night" − 1:58
  3. "Lost in Space" (Jeff Bridges) − 3:15
  4. "Silent Movies" − 2:11
  5. "Maybe Tomorrow" (Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman) − 4:18
  6. "Main Title" − 2:48
  7. "22nd Fugue for Well-Tempered Clavichord" (Johann Sebastian Bach) − 1:31
  8. "Rondo No. 1" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) − 1:58
  9. "Opus 54, Variations Serieuses" (Felix Mendelssohn) − 2:05
  10. "Allegro from Royal Fireworks Suite" (George Frideric Handel) − 3:58
  11. "Maybe Tomorrow" − 3:58


  • Unidentified orchestra arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones
  • Evie Sands (track 1), The Strange Things (track 2), Jeff Bridges (track 3), The Morgan Ames Singers (track 5) − vocals
  • The John and Mary Brass Ensemble (tracks 7-11)



  • 1970 BAFTA Award, Best Actor - Dustin Hoffman (For Midnight Cowboy and John and Mary)[11]


  • 1970 BAFTA Award, Best Actress - Mia Farrow (For: Rosemary's Baby, Secret Ceremony and John and Mary)
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Actor, Musical/Comedy - Dustin Hoffman
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Actress, Musical/Comedy - Mia Farrow
  • 1970 Golden Globes, Best Screenplay - John Mortimer
  • 1970 WGA Awards, Best Adapted Screenplay - John Mortimer

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11. See also Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p231. Please note figures are rentals accruing to distributors and not total gross.
  2. ^ Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ Ratings @ IMDb.
  4. ^ Roger Ebert @
  5. ^ John Thompson @ Orlando Weekly.
  6. ^ Vincent Canby @
  7. ^ Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 328.
  9. ^ Soundtrack Collector: album entry accessed January 30, 2018
  10. ^ Eyries, P., Edwards, D. & Callahan, M. A&M Album Discography, Part 2: SP 4200-4299 (1969-1971), accessed January 30, 2018
  11. ^ Awards @ IMDb.

External linksEdit