The original Broadway stage play "The Glass Menagerie" opened at the Playhouse Theatre on Mar 31, 1945 and ran for 563 performances. See more »
As Tom is speaking with Laura in one scene, every time the camera is focused on her, his arms are at his sides in the background. When the camera focuses on him, his arms are crossed. This switches back and forth for an entire scene. See more »
You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it!
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Director Paul Newman's 1987 filming of Tennessee Williams'delicate "memory play" is rather like Newman's acting--straight-forward and unfussy but with a cumulative power that surprises you with its punch. As a director, Newman has no discernible visual style and his film could use some pruning here and there, but what skill with actors! I have seen several versions of this play (including two previously filmed versions) and these actors are the best I have ever had the privilege of watching in these roles. John Malkovich, as Tom, takes the greatest risks and largely succeeds--using his sly, slightly creepy vocal patterns to great effect. He projects a somewhat fey, vaguely gay quality as Tom (which, if one agrees that Tom represents Tennessee Williams himself, certainly makes sense). In the probably foolproof role of the fragile Laura, Karen Allen is heartbreaking (if perhaps a tad too pretty). James Naughton's gentleman-caller Jim hones most closely to previous interpretations of the role; perhaps there is only one way to play it. He is fine, though he seemed a tad too old for the role to me. As the maddening Amanda, Joanne Woodward was simply superb--far outdistancing even Katharine Hepburn in the playing of one of the greatest women's roles ever written. Herself a Southerner, Woodward seems to completely understand this woman and where she came from--which makes the situation she has found herself in all the more moving. Visually, the movie is little more than a photographed stage-play, though mention must be made of Henry Mancini's excellent score.
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