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This first movie version of the Tennessee Williams play about a faded, aging Southern belle, her shy, crippled daughter and her "selfish dreamer" of a son more or less sticks to the original story, except for a compromise ending which strives to be more upbeat. Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
In his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman's Son, 'Kirk Douglas' says that he thinks that the effectiveness of this movie was hampered by Gertrude Lawrence's vanity, since the filmmakers were obliged to add scenes that made her character look younger and more appealing. Douglas also says that he prefers the 1987 film version directed by Paul Newman over this one. See more »
I readily defer to the previous specialist American users, some of whom were taught Tennesee Williams (TW) in high school and are familiar with his prose and style.It was certainly the first time I had seen Getrude Lawrence on film although I have often heard her praises spoken by the likes of the late Noel Coward.We Brits seem to portray US southern belles quite well (most notably Vivien Leigh in her famous incarnation of Scarlet O'Hara).Yes, I quite enjoyed this film and awarded it 6/10, above average.
I note the learn-ed comments from certain American reviewers about the prevailing censorship then and changes to the author's stage text, not to mention TW's gay proclivities.I thought however it was a "cop out" to give Jane Wyman a "gentleman caller", (not in the original text apparently) in the last scene, when her brother had joined the US Merchant Marine and Kirk Douglas had rejoined his fiancée.
How social attitudes and times have changed over the last 70 years or so in society.Nowadays there is womens liberation, no gay/race discrimination, equal work rights for women with men and better and more enlightened school education, especially on the pernicious effects of smoking; so we must always have before us what the social context in the 40s was like before condemning this TW play with the benefit of hindsight.
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