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 original story, except for a compromise ending which strives to be more upbeat.Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
The Glass Menagerie (1950) is a glaring example of how Hollywood politics influence film adaptations of stage plays. In the theatre, the celebrated star turn is traditionally Amanda's, followed in stature by Tom, Laura and, at a distant fourth, Jim. The casting of the screen version gives star billing to the characters of Laura (Jane Wyman) and Jim (Kirk Douglas), leaving stage legend Gertrude Lawrence with third billing. Thus, from the first moments of the main title, the film has left many audiences and critics with a sense that the adaptation was skewed. See more »
Ah, when you first meet Mendoza, you don't like him. But, when you get to know him, you hate him.
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It's hard for a production of a classic stage play not to be stagy. In the Windfield house we have the mother possessed with her children. She launches into diatribes relating to their shortcomings. Laura is crippled and shy and really has no social life. Her brother has a life of his own (event though he still lives in the family home), but is at the beck and call of the mother. She finally pushes him until he invites a friend to dinner. The object is to find a potential mate for Laura. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the potential pitfalls. This man is sensitive and understanding of the situation. That's as far as it goes, however. This is one of Tennessee Williams' finest plays, fraught with symbolism, submerged in despair. The fragility of glass is what this is all about. People are indeed breakable.
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