7.4/10
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15 user 8 critic

Death of a Salesman (1951)

An over-the-hill salesman faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family.

Director:

Laslo Benedek

Writers:

Arthur Miller (play), Stanley Roberts
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Fredric March ... Willy Loman
Mildred Dunnock ... Linda Loman
Kevin McCarthy ... Biff Loman
Cameron Mitchell ... Happy Loman
Howard Smith ... Charley
Royal Beal Royal Beal ... Ben
Don Keefer ... Bernard
Jesse White ... Stanley
Claire Carleton ... Miss Francis
David Alpert David Alpert ... Howard Wagner
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Storyline

An over-the-hill salesman faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One mistake...seen by his sons...unleashes...in the overwhelming power...the greatest drama of our day!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1952 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Tod eines Handlungsreisenden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 from The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), which featured a character named "Inspector Lohmann". See more »

Quotes

Charley: A salesman is somebody way up there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine...
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User Reviews

The Original
28 June 2004 | by wtmackSee all my reviews

For reasons unknown to me, this version of the film has been unavailable for years. When I finally was able to view it recently, I thought it was excellent, and that Frederic March was the ideal Willy Loman. Played on Broadway by Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott and Brian Dennehy, powerful men with powerful presences, the role has the potential to make Willy's downfall extremely dramatic, a testament to how far the mighty can fall. But in Frederic March, we better see his inherent weakness, and believe his corruption. We're not tricked into believing that his life's work was ever worthwhile, that it just fell on hard times. Instead, we see that his life was a lie from the beginning, which is what I believe the play intends.

Dustin Hoffman, another great actor, also famously played the role on Broadway and in the TV version of that production, widely available on video and therefore perhaps the version most viewers are familiar with. His interpretation was quirky and unreal, a character actor playing the lead in a modern take on a Greek tragedy, and it didn't work for me. But no matter how you feel about the play and the role, if you can catch this Frederic March version, do so; you won't regret it.


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