Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie
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An aging Southern belle inspires her son and prepares her crippled daughter for a gentleman caller. From the Tennessee Williams play.
Katharine Hepburn, one of the great American actresses, stars in this film adaptation of one of the greatest American plays, Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie. Hepburn plays Amanda Wakefield, a faded Southern belle now living in a small urban apartment, where she suffocates her two children--her restless son Tom (a very young Sam Waterston) and her painfully shy daughter Laura (Joanna Miles)--with her incessant mixture of insistent cheer and guilt. After much prodding from Amanda, Tom finally brings home a friend from his workplace, in the hopes that he might strike up a romance with reclusive Laura. The result is one of the sweetest and most heartbreaking scenes ever written. Hepburn's steely will and sudden vulnerability make her ideal for the domineering mother, but the entire cast--including Michael Moriarty as the "gentleman caller"--is superb; Moriarty and Miles deservedly won Emmy awards for their performances. --Bret Fetzer
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Katherine Hepburn was pure magic as Amanda and I was totally enamored by her. My one and only complaint was indeed her heavy and fast tone of voice. While it was a trademark that impersonators have played upon for years, it made her a bit hard to understand in places, especially when she was arguing with Tom and rattling on.
Other than that, if I ever directed this production, I'd show my actors this version! The tone and setting of the movie is brilliant, very close to what I imagine Williams himself imagined for the stage, right down to the paper shade on the bulb above the dining table or the curtains in the doorway. Being made for TV in the 70s, it's pretty bare bones. Even the sound quality at time leads you to believe this could be a recorded stage version. But Williams called it a "memory" play, so I think those stark elements are important and they really come through.
I bought this DVD to watch as research for a piece I'm writing about Williams. I found it to be very inspiring and worth the purchase. It is now easily one of my classic favorites and I know I will watch it again and again.
Most recent customer reviews
Hot Toasty Rag, October 17, 2017
The Glass Menagerie is my favorite play, solely because I love the 1973 taped and televised Broadway...Read more