Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (Broadway Theatre Archive)
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The play is essentially a gigantic flashback told by Tom Wingfield (Sam Waterston), who is now a merchant seaman in a distant port recalling the final days he spent in the family home in St. Louis with his mother, the faded Southern belle, Amanda (Hepburn), and his painfully shy sister, Laura (Joanna Miles). Stuck in a dead end job at a shoe factory and constantly going to the movies to escape his mother, Tom wants to be a poet. Laura, made physically ill by any attempt to go out and function in the real world, has retreated to her imagination and her titular collection of glass animals. Amanda is constantly talking about the old days on Blue Mountain, browbeating Tom for his lack of incentive, or hustling subscriptions for "The Lady's Home Companion." When his mother badgers him into finding a "gentleman caller" for his sister, Tom brings home Jim O'Connor (Michael Moriarty) from work.Read more ›
Deftly balancing Williams' poetry and Hepburn's staunch strength, this version directed by Anthony Harvey absolutely resounds with gentle power and grace.
Waterston makes a delicate Tom without any of the overpowering effiminate qualities that undermines so many other actors who essay the role. He makes the consumate Thomas Wingfield by acknowledging Tennessee Williams' autobiographical reality and marrying it to idealized forms. Like Jason Robards was born to interpret O'Neill, Waterston was born to bring Williams' to life.
Of course one cannot be too effusive in praising the late great Miss Hepburn. Her Amanda is subtle, heroic and painfully tragic as she tackles one of the American theatre's greatest roles. Her work in this version stands as one of the great performances waiting to be discovered.
Thankfully this version is now availbe and serves as a must own for all fans of this play. Along with Paul Newman's equally excellent version, this demands purchasing and cherishing. Absolutely brilliant.
Hepburn is wonderful as Amanda, creating an Amanda who is strong and domineering, yet remarkably dedicated to her children. Hepburn conveys none of Amanda's vulnerability, emphasizing instead her commitment and determination to control the future. She tries to make Laura into her own image, but Laura is so overwhelmed by life that she lacks the confidence she needs to live.
Michael Moriarty, as Jim O'Connor, the gentleman caller who comes for a family dinner, is terrific in his role. His "gentleman caller" is an enthusiastic young man with plans for his future, but he is also an innocent, not quite aware of what Amanda has planned and unprepared for the depth of Laura's vulnerability. Rattling on about his life, he is insensitive to Laura's feelings, having no real appreciation for the fact that she idolized him in high school and is overwhelmed by his presence in her home.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the finest translations of Tennessee Williams from the stage to film! Guided expertly by her "Lion in Winter" director Anthony Harvey, Katharine Hepburn runs with... Read morePublished 4 months ago by hamnerman
This was super boring and was not my taste at all. It was a required for a class.Published 8 months ago by kimberly
a combination of Hepburn's normal teeth- clenched faux New England Brahmin accent --- superimposed with an attempt at southern drawl makes this unintelligible--- in the promo it... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Arjay M.
one of the finest presentation of williams' masterpiece ever put on film. 'nuf said.Published 13 months ago by tito shaw
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