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 "Inspector Lohmann". See more »
Seeing Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman in this David Susskind produced version is as close as possible to seeing the original play on Broadway, and a far sight better than just about any live production one could find nowadays.
Mr. Cobb's performance is so absorbing, so powerful and so disturbing, that we, (the audience) feel genuinely dazed at its conclusion. It's as though, by the time of the final scene, that we too, are attending Willy's funeral, and all stumble away drained and awed.
The supporting cast are each and all superb, with Mildred Dunnock probably topping anything else in which she has appeared. Set design is also inventive in its combination of abstract and realistic interiors and exteriors.
As to the character of Willy, it is to Mr. Cobb's credit, that for all of his past moral compromises and shabby aspirations, the most honest of us, will admit that we recognize something of ourselves in him.
Theater and television at its best! Thank you Mr. Susskind. (Also interesting to note Karen Steele relegated to a bit role while still such a young woman--what a step down from "Marty.")
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?