An abridged award-winning television adaptation of a famous play about an aging travelling salesman who's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His job is gone, and his family hates him for never being there. He tries mending things with them.
An aging salesman is fired from his job after a long career in it. Broken, without much to look forward to, he tries reconnecting with his wife and kids who he had always put down as he dedicated himself to work.
The story of Frankie and Johnny: Frankie walks into a bar, where she catches her boyfriend Johnny with the sensuous Nelly Bly and kills him in a fit of jealousy. The story is told in song, ... See full summary »
The close relationship between a woman and her two male childhood friends is tested when she accepts a marriage proposal from one of them, while the burgeoning First World War threatens to change their lives forever.
Willy Loman clings to the belief that he is a success as a salesman, that he is a beloved family man, that he is well-liked; but, as he grows older, he is forced to contemplate the unpleasant reality of his existence.
Like many people ,I had seen the Schlondorff version starring Hoffman first,and I did like it.
This one should not be overlooked though :Arthur Miller's play,with its ceaseless to and fro between present and past , imaginary world and reality was not easy to transfer to the screen,and Laslo Benedek's directing is quite estimable:the scenes in the present are dark and make the house look like a tomb (notably when Willy comes back home) whereas the past which seems so bright is filmed in plain day light (the scene when young Biff and Happy polish the car );the subway is a good place to locate the events when willy has been fired;ditto for the final scene ,with all these 'living' night lights.The one thing which is passed over in silence is the boys' attitude after the funeral:Happy is "staying right in this city and gonna beat this racket,(...) and gonna win for him" whereas Biff "knows who he is" and that he perhaps will not never be able to settle down and take orders from somebody .
The cast is sensational:Fredric March gives a tormented performance ,switching back and forth between the extremes:sometimes proud of his athlete three colleges will take,often humble and bent in the office,where his boss is more interested in his tape recorder than in his salesman's future ;Mildred Dunnock is the patient mom,who trusts her dear husband ,even when the future seems bleak and he loses his mind ;Cameron Mitchell is Happy ,his dad's optimistic side ,a lady killer who thinks everything will work out fine (too bad his part is reduced in the last scene).Kevin McCarthy (film debut) is my favorite and he thoroughly deserved his AA nomination (he lost to Karl Malden 's Mitch in " a street car named desire): I love the way he talks about Bernhard ("he is liked ,but he is not well liked" ) ;he can be hilarious -the brief moment when he apes his teacher's lisp- or deeply moving when he breaks crying in his dad's arms ("Pop! I'm dime in a dozen and so are you!")His performance is at least as mind-boggling as that of John Malkovich thirty years later.
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