Death of a Salesman (1985)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama  |  16 August 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,414 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 11 critic

An aging traveling salesman recognizes the emptiness of his life and tries to fix it.


(as Volker Schlondorff)


(teleplay), (play)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
David S. Chandler ...
Woman from Boston (as Kathy Rossetter)
Tom Signorelli ...
Karen Needle ...
Anne McIntosh ...
Michael Quinlan ...


Salesman Willy Loman is in a crisis. He's about to lose his job, he can't pay his bills, and his sons Biff and Happy don't respect him and can't seem to live up to their potential. He wonders what went wrong and how he can make things up to his family. Written by Eric Sorensen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Its passion cannot be overstated. Its power must not be overlooked.




PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

16 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tod eines Handlungsreisenden  »

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Did You Know?


In his autobiography "Timebends", Arthur Miller speculates that his unconscious mind picked the name "Loman" for Willy Loman, the protagonist of "Death of a Salesman", based on his conscious experience of being thrilled by The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), which featured a character named "Commisioner Lohmann". See more »


When Willy is playing cards with his neighbor, the cards he's holding change between shots. See more »


Linda Loman: [to Willy's grave] Willy, dear, I can't cry. Why did you do it? I search and search and I search, and I can't understand it, Willy. I made the last payment on the house today. Today, dear. And there'll be nobody home.
[a sob rises in her throat]
Linda Loman: We're free and clear.
Linda Loman: We're free.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Tobey Maguire/Sisqo (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Far from the American dream

Willy Loman is a salesman, who gets no salary anymore and works with mere commission.He's 63 years old and he's tired of traveling around the country.His wife Linda understands him and loves him.His sons, Biff and Happy are visiting home.Willy has a troubled relationship with Biff.His son once loved and admired his father very much.It all changed when he found out about his father's crime, of committing adultery. Loman is losing his mind.He can be living two times at the same time.He steps from today's world into the past, mostly those joyful times of his life.He speaks with his now deceased brother Ben, who went to Africa and became a wealthy man.I read the original play by Arthur Miller that was published in 1949 pretty recently and liked it very much.Volker Schlöndorff's Death of a Salesman (1985) is a movie version of that.It was seen on Broadway a year earlier.All of the actors are remarkable.There's not one weak performance.Dustin Hoffman, what a perfect choice to play Willy Loman.He's always great but this time he really tops himself.Kate Reid gives a strong performance as Linda Loman.John Malkovich and Stephen Lang are great as the sons, also as the younger versions of them.Louis Zorich is really brilliant as Ben Loman.Charles Durning is excellent as Willy's neighbor and only friend Charley.And so is David S. Chandler as his son Bernard.Jon Polito gives a good performance as Willy's boss Howard.Linda Kozlowski is wonderful as Miss Forsythe.And so is Kathryn Rossetter as Woman from Boston.The strength of the play is in the characters.You care about many of them. you hope something good would happen to Willy, despite his flaws.The title of the play gives away the ending but it's intriguing to find out what events led to that.Death of a Salesman is a great American play and this a great movie made of that play.

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