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Period of Adjustment (1962)

On December 23rd, Korean War veteran George Haverstick and nurse Isabel Crane - who George lovingly refers to as "Little Bit" - get married in a civil ceremony. They met when George was ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Ralph Bates (as Tony Franciosa)
Dorothea Bates
Stewart P. McGill
Mrs. Alice McGill
Desk Sergeant


On December 23rd, Korean War veteran George Haverstick and nurse Isabel Crane - who George lovingly refers to as "Little Bit" - get married in a civil ceremony. They met when George was admitted to Belvedere General Hospital in St. Louis for a nervous shake, with Isabel being his night nurse. They got married immediately following his release, which occurred despite the doctors never discovering the reason for his affliction. They plan on honeymooning in Miami, and stopping in suburban High Point, Tennessee along the way to visit with who George considers his best friend, fellow Korean War vet Ralph Bates, and Ralph's wife of six years, Dorothea Bates. By the time they arrive on the Bates' doorstep on Christmas Eve, George and Isabel are hardly speaking to each other when they aren't yelling at each other as each had a preconceived notion of their role in the marriage incompatible with the other, and a romanticized view of how the other should behave. Ralph's marriage is currently in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


That AGONIZING Pause Between the Homeymoon and the Marriage.


Drama | Comedy


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Release Date:

31 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Del matrimonio al amor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Period of Adjustment" by Tennessee Williams opened at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York on November 10, 1960 and ran for 132 performances. The Tennessee Williams play was adapted for this movie by Isobel Lennart. See more »


Ralph Baitz: The human heart could never pass the drunk test. Take a human heart out of a human body, put legs on it and tell it to walk a straight line, and it couldn't. The heart could never pass a drunk test.
See more »


Referenced in The Jimmy Stewart Show: Period of Readjustment (1971) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tennessee Williams invites us to spend Christmas Eve with two warring couples
26 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The play for which this movie was adapted was very much a minor play for Tennessee Williams. It ran for a little over one-hundred performances and then shut down shop. Few revivals have been successful. A lot of the movies adapted from Williams' plays have been met with mixed reviews. Sometimes it's hard to transform the extravagance of a play into a tidy two-hour movie.

I like many of the movies which were adapted, and I love the original source, Mr. Williams' plays. His fiery dialog and intense characters never fail to hold my attention.

In this movie, George meets Isabel while he's hospitalized with the shakes and they get married. Everything is fine until right then, when things blow up for the young couple. Meanwhile, an old war buddy of George's, Ralph, quits his job; which becomes more tricky when considering that his boss was his father-in-law. His wife Dorothea refuses to return home with him and keeps their child there with her.

George calls up his old buddy Ralph and wants to bring himself and Isabel there. There, in Mr. Williams' great style, secrets and feelings previously hidden in darkness between the two couples come to light.

Tony Franciosa gives the best performance for my money as Ralph. Franciosa was always a hassle to work with on set, but the man didn't win a Golden Globe for nothing. Jane Fonda stands out as Isabel, besides being just absolutely adorable. Jim Hutton as George gives a fine performance; you also really get to feeling for Lois Nettleton's Dorothea, the wife of a man who married her for her money.

This film isn't around much and rarely spoken of, but TCM will play it occasionally and you should definitely sit down and turn the volume up when you see it.

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