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The Glass Menagerie (16-Dec-1973)

Director: Anthony Harvey

Writer: Tennessee Williams

From a play by: Tennessee Williams

Original Music Composed and Played by: John Barry

Producer: David Susskind

Keywords: Drama

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Katharine Hepburn
12-May-1907 29-Jun-2003 The Philadelphia Story
Michael Moriarty
5-Apr-1941   ADA on Law & Order
Sam Waterston
15-Nov-1940   Asst DA Jack McCoy on Law & Order


Katharine Hepburn   ...   Amanda Wingfield
Sam Waterston   ...   Tom (Amanda's son)
Michael Moriarty   ...   Jim
Joanna Miles   ...   Laura (Amanda's daughter)


Review by Lisa (posted on 5-Mar-2005)

This is the definitive film version of Tennessee Williams' most autobiographical work, and the version made with Williams' blessing. While Katharine Hepburn was a bit old at the time to play the middle-aged Amanda, she nonetheless captured the combination of giddy young girl and critical old tyrant that Amanda was. Joanna Miles' portrayal of Laura is perfect: not too cute (as Karen Allen was in the later version, directed by Paul Newman) and not too pathetic, as Jane Wyman was in the original movie. Miles' Laura was sad and sweet and hopeful and helpless all at once.

Michael Moriarty's portrayal of Jim, the gentleman caller, is arguably his best performance ever. The one supposed realist in the play, he too lives in a fantasy of sorts, savvy enough to discern why he's been invited to dinner but naive enough to not realize what an effect this one evening has had on Laura.

And Sam Waterston -- his portrayal of Tom is brilliant. While Amanda nags and annoys him and ultimately drives him out of St. Louis and her and Laura's lives, Waterston still shows us the occasions where Tom's love for Amanda is evident. His need to make his own life, and the conflict this presents with his desire to protect Laura, is palpable. Do not under any circumstances watch John Malkovich's milquetoast portrayal of Tom, which is eerily and depressingly reminiscent of his portrayal of Biff in Death of a Salesman -- two characters who are truly nothing alike but appear whiny and prissy when played by Malkovich.

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