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It's been years (23, to be exact) since I saw this television version of the play, but I still remember it fondly. Even though I have seen the 1930's Frank Capra version and the wonderful tape of the 1984 stage performance--which is my favorite--with Jason Robards, I still belive this is one of the finest versions of the play. The huge cast was energetic and well-cast; the message that there is more to life than the "having and getting and keeping of money" is just as relevant as ever and I think people who have only been able to see the Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart version, which appears to be the only version available, would, if they could ever see this, be pleasantly surprised. Not only is this TV movie more like the play, but the large cast is perfectly cast and really brought out all the humor and pathos and zaniness of the work. I wish this version and especially the 1984 stage version would be released on video and DVD so everyone could enjoy this play.
This is the absolutely best adaptation of the play I've ever seen. I've had the play itself in hardcover (don't know where it is now) for over 50 years, and have loved it for that long. This is the only version I've ever seen that was completely true to the stage play (all the dialogue, etc.) There was a pretty good version with Jason Robards years ago, but they added some dialogue to that one. This is perfect. No missing scenes. Dialogue true to the original. Perfect casting. Who better than Jean Stapleton could have ever played Penny? Blythe Danner has been one of my favorite actresses since 1776 (the show, not the year).
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