A deliciously biting satire about both the world of Grand Opera and United Europe. A Hungarian conductor (Arestrup) attempts to mount a bold new production of Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser" ... See full summary »
Kiri Te Kanawa
In 1854, there were living on the streets of New York City over 10,000 abandoned orphaned children. Out of this desperate situation was born the orphan Train. This is a fictionalized account, based on actual events.
On a cold winter day a mysterious stranger shows up at the Witting Farm. He is John Witting, the father of Jacob Witting who abandoned Jacob and his mother when Jacob was little. Jacob is ... See full summary »
Linda and Michael, married for ten years, desperately want a baby and turn to an adoption agency which introduces them to Lucy, a teenage girl expecting her first baby. The three agree that... See full summary »
Mary Stuart Masterson
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
The original Broadway production of "The Elephant Man" by Bernard Pomerance opened at the Booth Theater in New York on April 19, 1979, ran for 916 performances and won the 1979 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play. Philip Anglim, Kevin Conway and Richard Clarke repeated their stage roles in the movie version. See more »
This taped adaption of Bernard Pomerance's Broadway play stays quite faithful in its translation to that usually treacherous paramour called the small screen (although it unfortunately loses some dialogue and scenes to fill the time slot). The themes of illusion versus reality, the hypocrisy of Victorian society (or ours?), self promotion veiled as charity, science versus faith are still here (if only in expurgated form) for the viewer to ruminate about. While little sentiment (and certainly no mawkish sentiment)presents itself to us it is all the more powerful for it's absence. While we certainly pity the hapless Merrick's plight we begin to pity his benefactor Treeves' plight even more.
Lynch's superb film version (unrelated to the Broadway play)focuses our attentions on Merrick's tortures to personal transformation. Pomerance's version focuses our attentions on Treeve's transformation from smug self assuredness to personally tortured. Treeves becomes as much a victim of the repressive and rigid social standards of his society as is Merrick. Although what's worse for Treeves is that he is one of those society's elite members with no one he can truly turn to for solace.
Throughout the teleplay ideas return and act like mirrors that reflect earlier scenes. But like a mirror in a funhouse they distort and subvert the original in the most startling of ways. The fact that Merrick's deformity is only sustained(although we see graphic slides of how he actually looked)by the viewer's act of imagination is never a pretentious theatrical gimmick but works as a kind of litmus test to show the difference between what we see (audience) and they see (characters).
The acting throughout is stellar. An interesting tid-bit: Christopher Hewett (a.k.a. Mr. Belvedere) plays Merrick's manager Ross, who despite his harsh treatment of Merrick, sees upper crust society's visits to Merrick as the polished up sideshow it is. Only this time it's free of charge. Penny Fuller, in a crucial supporting role as Madge Kendall, also shines as the initially superficial social butterfly who eventually becomes the only one to truly see Merrick as the complex adult he truly is. A touching and haunting television play that will pierce your heart and provoke your mind.
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