Rachel, Rachel

Rachel, Rachel

Rachel, Rachel is a 1968 American technicolor drama film produced and directed by Paul Newman and starring Joanne Woodward in the title role and co-starring Estelle Parsons and James Olson. The screenplay, by Stewart Stern based on the 1966 novel A Jest of God by Canadian author Margaret Laurence, concerns a schoolteacher in small-town Connecticut and her sexual awakening and independence in her mid-30s. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Woodward, and Best Supporting Actress for Parsons) and won two Golden Globes: Best Director and Best Actress (Drama).


Rachel Cameron (Joanne Woodward) is a shy, 35-year-old unmarried schoolteacher living with her widowed mother in an apartment above the funeral home once owned by her father in a small town in Connecticut. School is out for summer vacation, and Rachel anticipates a typical bored summer at home with her mother. Fellow unmarried teacher and best friend Calla Mackie (Estelle Parsons) persuades her to attend a revival meeting, where a visiting preacher encourages Rachel to express her need for the love of Jesus. Rachel is overwhelmed by the experience, baring so much pent-up emotion that she is embarrassed; comforting her, Calla suddenly kisses Rachel passionately. Rachel, shocked, runs home and begins avoiding Calla.