7.2/10
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17 user 9 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
Reviews
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Arthur Miller disliked this film version of his play because he felt that the flashback sequences made it look as if Willy Loman were literally acting out his past in front of others, and that this made him seem insane. Perhaps because of this, other versions of the play have been shown on TV and video, but the 1951 version has not been televised in more than twenty years, and it has never been issued on VHS or DVD. 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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Connections

Version of En handelsresandes död (1979) See more »

User Reviews

 
Loman Family Values
22 June 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Death Of A Salesman was still on Broadway critics acclaimed Arthur Miller's play as an American classic and so it remains. There are so many versions out there that you've got so much to compare. And Lee J. Cobb who created the role of Willy Loman managed to get an acclaimed television version made for future generations to see.

I think that Fredric March's interpretation stands up to any that's out there. For one thing at the age of 54 he's the proper age for the part. March fleshes out the Loman character and plumbs his depth of a man who has seen life pass him by and he's running on fumes. He's not going to rise to management in his profession simply on his likability. And for Willy Loman that's the most important thing in the world.

His family which includes wife Mildred Dunnock and sons Kevin McCarthy and Cameron Mitchell stand by him. But McCarthy who since being a high school football hero has led a drifting aimless life is curiously alienated from his father. The source of that alienation is what you see Death Of A Salesman for.

Arthur Miller's work which is a classic about showing middle age with a purposeless existence has so many interpretations. Everyone has there own interpretation of Willy Loman so here's mine. When we're young we all start out with ambitions and dreams. Choices we make at that time determine our fates whether realize it or not. Most of us adjust and try to make a comfortable existence. It's usually our leisure time activities that identify us as individuals. Hobbies, causes, even sports fandom if that's your thing make life bearable. Willy didn't need to be liked, the poor guy needed a hobby.

Fredric March got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, but lost to Humphrey Bogart for The African Queen. Mildred Dunnock and Kevin McCarthy were nominated in the supporting actress and actor categories. The film also received nominations for Best black&white cinematography and best musical scoring. It did not come home a winner as this was the year for A Streetcar Named Desire. Ironically March as Willy was up against the Broadway Biff Loman who was Arthur Kennedy and was nominated for Bright Victory.

I urge everyone to see all versions of Death Of Salesman as possible. I guarantee you will see as many Willys as there are actors to play him. This is as good as any.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1952 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Death of a Salesman See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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