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Death of a Salesman (1951)

 |  Drama  |  9 May 1952 (Finland)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 573 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Willy Loman is an over-the-hill salesman who faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family: Willy's long-suffering wife Linda, and Biff and Happy, his troubled sons and his life.

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Title: Death of a Salesman (1951)

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Howard Smith ...
Charley
Royal Beal ...
Ben
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Bernard
Jesse White ...
Stanley
Claire Carleton ...
Miss Francis
David Alpert ...
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Storyline

Willy Loman is an over-the-hill salesman who faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family: Willy's long-suffering wife Linda, and Biff and Happy, his troubled sons and his life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

9 May 1952 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tod eines Handlungsreisenden  »

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Technical Specs

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameron Mitchell, Mildred Dunnock and Howard Smith all repeated their Broadway roles in the film. Ms. Dunnock would play Linda Loman yet again in the 1966 television production of the play. See more »

Quotes

Linda Loman: Attention must finally be paid to such a man. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog.
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Connections

Referenced in Death of a Saleswoman (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Frederick March is not Willy Loman
1 January 2007 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Those of us who have read, studied, and taught Miller's play for a number of years understand that Frederick March is not now nor was he ever Willy Loman.

First of all, Miller goes to great pains to describe Willy as a large man, a physical presence on the scene, overwhelming not only Linda, but Biff and Happy as well. His tirades demand the thrust not of a Napoleon but of a Goliath. Thus, in terms of sheer physical presence, Cobb, Scott, and Dennehy are much more in keeping with Miller's original intention.

Secondly, Hoffman, though physically incorrect, gives one of the great performances of his career. Linda's comment about Willy to her sons that "a terrible thing is happening to him," that "he must not be allowed to fall into his grave like a dog...so attention must finally be paid to such a person" is the heart and soul of Hoffman's performance.

Miller's play is a modern take on Greek tragedy--and March just doesn't get it. That fact that Hoffman's performance doesn't work for some says more about them than it does about Hoffman's brilliant work and his intelligent understanding of the terrible things that are happening to Willy.

It is too bad that the Dennehy version of the play is not available. Having seen the New York stage production, I am even more a Dennehy fan than I was after I had seen him in Brecht's "Galileo" at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.


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