The Fugitive Kind (1-Dec-1959)|
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writers: Tennessee Williams; Meade Roberts
From a play: Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams
Producers: Martin Jurow; Richard A. Shepherd
|R. G. Armstrong
||Pruneface in Dick Tracy
||A Streetcar Named Desire
||Cat-Women of the Moon
||The Rose Tattoo
||Won an Oscar for playing Emma Goldman
||The Three Faces of Eve
|Marlon Brando|| ... Val Xavier|
|Anna Magnani|| ... Lady Torrance|
|Joanne Woodward|| ... Carol Cutrere|
|Maureen Stapleton|| ... Vee Talbot|
|Victor Jory|| ... Jabe Torrance|
|R. G. Armstrong|| ... Sheriff Talbot|
|John Baragrey|| ... David Cutrere|
|Virgilia Chew|| ... Nurse Porter|
|Sally Gracie|| ... Dolly Hamma|
|Ben Yaffee|| ... Dog Hamma|
|Lucille Benson|| ... Beulah Binnings|
|Joe Brown, Jr.|| ... Pee Wee Binnings|
|Emory Richardson|| ... Uncle Pleasant|
|Mary Perry|| ... Supporting Cast|
|Nell Harrison|| ... Supporting Cast|
|Spivy|| ... Ruby Lightfoot|
|Janice Mars|| ... Gas Station Attendant's Wife|
Review by Anonymous (posted on 22-Aug-2007)
This Southern Gothic version of the Orpheus legend stars Marlon Brando as Val Xavier, the guitar-strumming drifter who wanders into a backwater "hell", where the locals don't have much use for outsiders. There, he meets "Lady"(Anna Magnani) the immigrant wife of the local mercantile store owner, Jabe Torrence,(Victor Jory) an obdurate racist, who, unbeknownst to Lady, was responsible for setting the fire that killed her father, after he accepted blacks into his wine garden.
After Lady hires Val to help out at the store,the two outsiders are gradually drawn to each other, and Jabe, now a terminal invalid, suspects them of being lovers. Lady becomes pregnant by Val, and after learning about Jabe's implication in her father's death, looks forward to his imminent death and her new life with Val. But,the Orpheus legend didn't end so happily.
Sidney Lumet helms the film expertly, with great black and white cinematography, and plenty of poetic atmosphere. Apparently, Brando was concerned that Magnani would "wipe the floor up" with him, and she was concerned aboutlearning the role phonetically. An operatic Magnani steals the show, but Brando's opening courthouse monologue is a great tour de force of Method acting. Maureen Stapleton is stellar in her small role, as the town sherrif's humane, alcholic wife, proving that there are no small parts for great actresses. Also, a young Joanne Woodward, as the town's nympho rich girl is superb--particularly her scene with Brando in the "bone-orchard".
The film yields numerous pleasures, not to mention Tennessee William's poetic dialogue. He loved Magnani, and wrote the part for her. You might want to watch her afterward in William's "The Rose Tatoo" in order to observe the full range of her genius.
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