From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely-... See full summary »



(story), (as Morton Neal Miller)

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Episode cast overview:
Helene Shaw
Harry Nash
Robert Ridgely ...
George Johnson
Dorothy Patterson ...
Caitlin Hart ...
Les Podewell ...
Aaron Freeman ...
Jerry Vile ...
Paula Frances ...
Stage Manager
Ron Parady ...
Debbi Hopkins ...
Maria Todd ...
Sandy McLeod ...
Flirt #1
Edie Vonnegut ...
Flirt #2


From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely--while on stage. Susan Sarandon is new in town, a lonely itinerant telephone company employee. On a whim, she auditions for and gets the part of Stella to Walken's Stanley when the theater group does A Streetcar Named Desire. Before anyone realizes the growing affection between Helene and Stanley, she falls deeply in love with the sexy brute, not knowing what the real man is like. Written by Reid Gagle (with corrections by Fiona!)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 February 1982 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The quotations recited by the actors in the various plays, from "Cyrano" to "A Streetcar named Desire" to "The Importance of Being Earnest", are often paraphrased. In the opening act, we watch Harry Nash deliver the final lines of "Cyrano," which were taken not from the well-known translations of the standard texts, but from the film adaptation Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) with translation by Brian Hooker. Edmond Rostand's final two words in the original French were "My panache!" which is usually used in translations. Hooker's version changes it to "My white plume!" Another slight variation occurs in the final lines, when Helene accepts Harry's proposal of marriage and says, "I hope that after we marry, you'll always look at me just like this... especially in front of other people!" In the original play by Oscar Wilde, the line is "I hope you will always look at me just like that, especially when there are other people present." See more »


[Right after Helene has sobbed her self-confession to George and Doris, they hear Harry shout from the doorway - in full Stanley Kowalski mode]
Harry Nash: Are you ready for me yet, George? There's nobody else outside!
George Johnson: Harry, come here. I'm, I'm sorry I kept you waiting, Harry. Excuse me.
[Helene surreptitiously wipes her eyes]
George Johnson: Uh, Harry, this is Helene Shaw. Helene, this is Harry Nash. Ehh, now, if you get the part of Stella, he'll be your husband in the play.
See more »

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User Reviews

Walken and Sarandon are Excellent
6 January 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Walken gives a funny, sweet performance as a community theater acting dynamo and heart-throb -- who's so shy he can't hold a conversation unless it's scripted.

Sarandon is also very good as the woman who falls in love with him and attempts to bring him out of his off-stage shell.

To be honest, though, this TV movie suffers a bit from very cheap production values, occasionally weak direction, and mediocre performances by much of the rest of the cast -- even apart from their purposely amateurish play-within-a-play acting.

In addition, it's one of the few movies I've seen that's actually too short. It would have benefited from at least one more off-stage scene further developing Walken's and Sarandon's characters.

Still, I like it a lot and highly recommend it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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