An abridged award-winning television adaptation of a famous play about an aging travelling salesman who's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His job is gone, and his family hates him for never being there. He tries mending things with them.
An aging salesman is fired from his job after a long career in it. Broken, without much to look forward to, he tries reconnecting with his wife and kids who he had always put down as he dedicated himself to work.
Julie Cavendish comes from a family of great Broadway actors. Her mother Fanny staunchly continues acting. Her boisterous brother Tony is fleeing a breach of promise suit in Hollywood. Her ... See full summary »
Willy Loman clings to the belief that he is a success as a salesman, that he is a beloved family man, that he is well-liked; but, as he grows older, he is forced to contemplate the unpleasant reality of his existence.
In his autobiography, "Timebends," playwright Arthur Miller says he was pleased with this version of "Salesman" and felt that Fredric March was effective as Willy. I would love to make that determination for myself. I have always been a big fan of March, and the rest of the cast all seem ideal choices for their roles. I don't believe it is in TCM's library. I think it deserves a DVD release, as does the 1966 (German?) version of "The Crucible."
I check on the DVD availability of this version of "Salesman" every now and then, as well as the 1949 version of "The Great Gatsby" with Alan Ladd, along with some other films that are (surprisingly) not on DVD, such as "Last Year At Marienbad" and "Sundays and Cybele." Good things come to those who wait.
Indeed, even if you have to wait seven years. The Fredric March version of "Salesman" made its way to YouTube in October, 2014. The print is not very good, but the movie is fine. March is wonderful, even if he does start out the movie at something of a fevered pitch rather than working up to it, as another reviewer says. The two sons, Biff and Happy, are such ne'er do wells and so dishonest that they are thoroughly unsympathetic. Kevin McCarthy and Cameron Mitchell play them to perfection. Mildred Dunnock's Linda may be the best performance in the movie. She mediates, observes, cajoles, admonishes, plays on sympathies, comforts and encourages. It's amazing how many dimensions there really are to this character, and Dunnock finds and plays them all beautifully. "Death of a Salesman" is so stagebound that it's hard to find ways to open it up for the screen, so why bother? The story and performers draw audiences in to "Salesman," and because the subject matter is so unremittingly bleak and despairing, the acting has to be of a very high caliber to sustain interest. This is a feat the 1951 movie version pulls off handsomely.
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