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A Lost "Glass Menagerie," Rediscovered


Barton_Keyes
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Oh yeah! I'll be sure to watch this one.

 

I've been in dire need lately to watch some uplifting story and refresh my belief in mankind.

 

(...well, Tom DOES finally screw up enough gumption to leave that dysfunctional family for good at the end of this thing, doesn't he?!...THAT'S kind'a good, ain't it?!)

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I'm very much looking forward to seeing this version of THE GLASS MENAGERIE, primarily for Barbara Loden's performance as Laura. I love her in WANDA (in the title role) and suspect that her Laura Wingfield will be as beautifully real as her Wanda Goronski.  

 

It will be interesting to see if Shirley Booth is able to pull off Amanda.

I think she is absolutely amazing in COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA (I know that one of my buds on the boards dislikes her in CBLS ---I respect his opinion but disagree), but I'm having trouble imagining her as a displaced Southern belle in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. 

But I will withhold judgment until I actually see the performance.

I've read that she disagreed with the director over the interpretation of the character. 

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Well, many people LOVE Tennessee Williams.........

 

Yeah, and a lot of people love Tennessee Ernie Ford too!

 

(...but for some reason I can't see Shirley Booth breakin' into a rousing chorus of "16 Tons"...but that's probably just me, huh)

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I'm very much looking forward to seeing this version of THE GLASS MENAGERIE, primarily for Barbara Loden's performance as Laura. I love her in WANDA (in the title role) and suspect that her Laura Wingfield will be as beautifully real as her Wanda Goronski.  

 

It will be interesting to see if Shirley Booth is able to pull off Amanda.

I think she is absolutely amazing in COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA (I know that one of my buds on the boards dislikes her in CBLS ---I respect his opinion but disagree), but I'm having trouble imagining her as a displaced Southern belle in THE GLASS MENAGERIE. 

But I will withhold judgment until I actually see the performance.

I've read that she disagreed with the director over the interpretation of the character. 

 

Yes, Barbara Loden is what interests me as well.

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You know I always felt sorry for Shirley Booth.   She always played the forlorn housewife or the loser old maid.   Even as Hazel the maid she didn't always play with a full deck.  The role of Amanda fit her like a glove.  What happened to the Gertrude Lawrence version?

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  What happened to the Gertrude Lawrence version?

 

The 1950 Warners version was produced by Charles K. Feldman, who sold it to 20th Century-Fox for reissue along with STREETCAR.  Warners got STREETCAR back but they snubbed MENAGERIE.  Fox Movie Channel has run MENAGERIE a few times.  It's my favorite version only because of Arthur Kennedy's Tom and Max Steiner's incredible score.  Gertrude did a bit too much show-boating as Amanda (it should have been Fay Bainter) and Jane Wyman simply didn't have Julie Haydon's other-worldly quality.  Kirk Douglas was good as "Jim" but he was, perhaps, a bit too confident.  We released Max's complete score on CD quite a few years ago.

 

glass.jpg

 

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com/glass_menagerie.mp3

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The TV version that was broadcast in the 70's, I believe, is amazing for the performances, especially Sam Waterson's forlorn son.

 

He was also memorable in the film version of "The Great Gatsby".

 

He gives you so much "subtext" without ever being "showy".

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The TV version that was broadcast in the 70's, I believe, is amazing for the performances, especially Sam Waterson's forlorn son.

 

He was also memorable in the film version of "The Great Gatsby".

 

He gives you so much "subtext" without ever being "showy".

 

Yeah, this was probably the best film or video production.  Katharine Hepburn, of course, was Amanda.  The film is available on DVD as part of the Broadway Theatre Archive (along with the 1966 DEATH OF A SALESMAN with Lee J. Cobb).

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Yeah, this was probably the best film or video production.  Katharine Hepburn, of course, was Amanda.  The film is available on DVD as part of the Broadway Theatre Archive (along with the 1966 DEATH OF A SALESMAN with Lee J. Cobb).

I agree, Katherine Hepburn was Amanda Wingfield.

 

Shirley Booth was a little too "robust", I'd say.

 

But one of the great attractions of this fabled script is that there is so much leeway for interpretation.

 

I never grow tired of seeing it.

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Radio versions:

 

1. Theatre Guild on the Air in 1951 starring Helen Hayes as Amanda with Montgomery Clift as Tom, Kathryn Baird as Laura, and Karl Malden as Jim.

 

 

2.Jane Wyman recreated her film role of Laura for a 1954 adaptation on Lux Radio Theatre with Fay Bainter as Amanda, Frank Lovejoy as Tom and Tom Brown as Jim

 

https://archive.org/download/OTRR_Lux_Radio_Theater_Singles/Lux_Radio_Theatre_54-03-08_871_The_Glass_Menagerie.mp3

 

3. In 1964 Caedmon Records produced an LP version of the Glass Menagerie as the initial issue of its theatre series. The production starred Jessica Tandy as Amanda, Montgomery Clift as Tom, Julie Harris as Laura, David Wayne as the gentleman caller.

 

 

There was another version produced in 1953 for the radio series Best Plays, starring Evelyn Varden as Amanda and Geraldine Page as Laura, but this is not known to survive.

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I watched it last night. Not bad, but nothing special. I

haven't seen the 1950 movie in a while, but I'd call

that one better than the 1966 TV one. I thought Kirk

Douglas pretty well captured the ex-high school golden

boy and the positive thinker type. Pat Hingle did a

good job, but he seemed a little too old and subdued

for the role. The good thing about a play is that one

can always go back and read the original play and

not worry too much about how the actors interpreted

their roles.

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