American Playhouse (1981– )
7.7/10
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11 user 3 critic

Who Am I This Time? 

From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely-... See full summary »

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (story), Neal Miller (as Morton Neal Miller)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Susan Sarandon ... Helene Shaw
Christopher Walken ... Harry Nash
Robert Ridgely ... George Johnson
Dorothy Patterson ... Doris
Caitlin Hart Caitlin Hart ... Lydia
Les Podewell Les Podewell ... Les
Aaron Freeman Aaron Freeman ... Andrew
Jerry Vile Jerry Vile ... Albert
Paula Frances Paula Frances ... Minnie
Mike Bacarella ... Stage Manager
Ron Parady Ron Parady ... Vern
Debbi Hopkins Debbi Hopkins ... Christie
Maria Todd Maria Todd ... Heather
Sandy McLeod Sandy McLeod ... Flirt #1
Edie Vonnegut Edie Vonnegut ... Flirt #2
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Storyline

From a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Christopher Walken is a shy hardware store employee. But whenever he takes a part in a local amateur theater production, he becomes the part completely--while on stage. Susan Sarandon is new in town, a lonely itinerant telephone company employee. On a whim, she auditions for and gets the part of Stella to Walken's Stanley when the theater group does A Streetcar Named Desire. Before anyone realizes the growing affection between Helene and Stanley, she falls deeply in love with the sexy brute, not knowing what the real man is like. Written by Reid Gagle (with corrections by Fiona!)

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Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Hinckley, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quotations recited by the actors in the various plays, from "Cyrano" to "A Streetcar named Desire" to "The Importance of Being Earnest", are often paraphrased. In the opening act, we watch Harry Nash deliver the final lines of "Cyrano," which were taken not from the well-known translations of the standard texts, but from the film adaptation Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) with translation by Brian Hooker. Edmond Rostand's final two words in the original French were "My panache!" which is usually used in translations. Hooker's version changes it to "My white plume!" Another slight variation occurs in the final lines, when Helene accepts Harry's proposal of marriage and says, "I hope that after we marry, you'll always look at me just like this... especially in front of other people!" In the original play by Oscar Wilde, the line is "I hope you will always look at me just like that, especially when there are other people present." See more »

Quotes

[George finds Harry in the hardware store. They are both nervous: George because he will be directing a play for the first time, Harry because he is always nervous. First thing, Harry spills a box of nails from the shelf and they crash upon the floor]
George Johnson: Anyway, I suppose you heard about the, uh, the next play!
[pause. Harry's face is blank, giving nothing away, good or bad]
George Johnson: Well, they asked me to direct, Harry! And I, I know you've only worked with Doris before, so I hope that isn't a problem.
[...]
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User Reviews

Great rendition of Kurt Vonnegut's short story
28 January 2005 | by ncalzSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorites, I only wish it would come out on DVD. Kurt Vonnegut's early work of fiction aims right at the heart, and he's a crack shot! Chris Walken and Sue Sarandon are marvelous in this light, yet poignant play within a play. Don't we all wish we could unlock the secrets in the heart of the person we love? Vonnegut has written a love story and the cast has made it soar. Production values are almost non existent but it was a PBS show, and the story and characters shine through beautifully. Loved it, and recommend it to everyone I know. In fact, I have shown it to just about everyone I know and it's a favorite with everyone who sees it!


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