Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur
Paul Newman produces and directs The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play by Paul Zindel. Eccentric single mother Beatrice Hunsdorfer (Joanne Woodward) struggles to raise two daughters while plagued with depression, alcoholism, and financial difficulty. Her daughter Ruth (Roberta Wallach) is an epileptic teenage rebel following in the same path as her mother. However, the youngest daughter, Matilda (Nell Potts) doesn't share her family's bleak worldview. She takes an interest in school, especially in her science class taught by Mr. Goodman (David Spielberg). The title comes from an experiment where marigolds are hit with gamma radiation and yield differing results. Some of the flowers die, while others grow more beautiful. Nell Potts (born Elinor Newman) is the real-life daughter of Newman and Woodward.
daughter, flowers, gamma-rays, mother, neurotic, radiation, single-parent