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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
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.
A Korean war veteran (Don Murray) has developed a raging heroin habit which he hides from his pregnant wife (Eva Marie Saint)and his father (Lloyd Nolan). He has those classic "I've got a monkey on my back" mannerisms which the audience can appreciate, while the wife and father wonder why he seems nervous all the time. His dealer, a character known as Mother, played by Henry Silva, and Mother's sidekick, a beatnik type known as Chuch, played by Gerald S. O Laughlin, are memorable characters. Murray is great as his desperation grows, in debt to Mother, trying to keep his problem a secret, pushed to the extreme. The powerhouse drama features an utterly fantastic role, played by Anthony Franciosa, as Murray's heavy drinking brother, who protects Murray but is in love with his wife at the same time. It could have all been too stagey, but thanks to director Fred Zinneman, there's action to spare in this gritty New York drama.
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