An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »
This first movie version of the Tennessee Williams play about a faded, aging Southern belle, her shy, crippled daughter and her "selfish dreamer" of a son more or less sticks to the ... See full summary »
Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been ... See full summary »
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »
Val Xavier, a drifter of obscure origins arrives at a small town and gets a job in a store run by Lady Torrence, a sex-starved woman whose husband Jabe M. Torrance is dying of cancer ... See full summary »
An American soldier manages to endure his captivity in a Vietnamese POW camp by keeping alive the memories of life in his home town. When he is finally released from the camp, and is ... See full summary »
A Very Entertaining Performance of Rare Tennessee Williams
I had never heard of this play when I saw the DVD on the shelf. So I got it, took it home, and watched it. I found it to be delightful. Martin Sheen glows in the bloom of his youth, Lotte Lenya is a hoot, and the rest of the cast, while unknown to me, were admirable, especially Janet Margolin as Esmeralda.
The production dates back to 1966, in a B&W TV staging for NET - National Educational TV. I suppose that is the predecessor of today's PBS. It was campy and fun, with lots of cheesy sets typical of live TV shows of the day. That aspect alone gives it an ambiance that looks back to an earlier day of less than slick TV performances of more than worthy theatrical properties. Too bad such things are not particularly marketable today. Still, thanks to DVD, one can enjoy one of a kind performances like this one that would otherwise be lost.
This performance is apparently based on an early version of the play, rather than an "excised" version of the final published text. In my edition of Tennessee Williams plays, there is commentary on the fact that he reworked the material several times after its Broadway Premier before releasing the final published version. For that reason alone, this is an interesting historical document. What's more, this version, without commercials, fits neatly into the standard one hour TV time slot, and in my opinion, holds the stage quite well.
I really enjoyed the performance, and recommend it to anyone who is not put off by out of date TV production standards. If you are interested in a more "official" version of the play based on the final published text, there are always books at the library or a book store. Meanwhile, this DVD will provide you with a good visual image while you read.
Ed Flaspoehler, Dallas, TX
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?