The Story Finally Makes Sense
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 03/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of course everyone will compare this 1984 remake of one of Tennessee Williams' best plays with the 1950's version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. The director, actors and everyone else involved in this production have nothing to be embarrassed about for this is a fine movie indeed. In fairness to the Taylor-Newman movie, because of the censorship of that repressed era, the plot does not make a lot of sense. These actors though have the advantage of working with a story that Mr. Williams had revised so that the relationship that Brick and Skipper had that keeps interfering with Brick's marriage with Maggie now makes sense. ("A pure and true thing is not normal.") Additionally Taylor and Newman are so incredibly attractive that sometimes their good looks get in the way of their acting. Here we have really stellar performances by Jessica Lange as Maggie, Tommy Lee Jones as Brick-- he's a lot better than many of the critics say-- Rip Torn as Big Daddy and Kim Stanley as Big Momma. Tommy Lee Jones does some terrific acting with just his eyes and facial expressions alone. Jessica Lange continues to demonstrate that she is one of the best actresses of her generation. She gives a beautifully nuanced performance, expressing a wide range of emotions and can go from a vulnerable, lovable kitten to a clawing cat at the turn of a fan. The scenes between Big Daddy and Brick, through excruciating, are very moving.
While Mr. Willams as usual places his characters in the South, they resemble dysfunctional families everywhere. Greed, sexual repression, sibling rivalry, dishonesty, awareness of one's own mortality and family in-fighting know no geographical boundries.
Mr. Williams would be proud of this production."
Lange at her best!
H. F. Corbin | 10/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This has got to be the best adaptation of a play I have ever seen. I was a five year old kid watching this when it first came out on Showtime! I loved it then, and now I love it even more and fully understand it! Lange has never been so sexy nor great. Besides being the best actress in the world, her performance in here really displays her dramatic talents. Jones was born to play Brick and he does a great job. The settings in this version are so well designed and set-up it makes you wonder if they are in a REAL plantation home! And the rest of the cast, particularly the wonderful Torn, do an outstanding job. Besides the scenes between Jones and Torn being overly long and you find yourself missing Lange's prescence, this is a high recommendation."
Excellent reendition of Williams' classic play
Sing Brotha Sing | California | 09/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can remember watching this on Showtime back in 1984, and both then and now, I can not deny just how much justice the cast and crew did to Williams' classic play of alcoholism, homosexuality, death, and so on. Jessica Lange is incredibly sexy as the sexually frustrated Maggie the Cat, while Tommy Lee Jones is superb as her alcoholic ex-sports announcer husband, Brick. Gorgeous set designs and powerful acting from the entire accomplished cast make for a wonderfully entertaining, updated version of a modern classic."
This, at least, is the real story.
Sara Simmons | Atlanta, GA | 09/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This play is about a woman trying to redeem her husband who is drinking himself to ruin because he can't deal with the fact that he was in love with his dead football buddy - another man. If you watch this version, that's what you'll see. Sadly, the Paul Newman version was made in a time when it wasn't OK for Maggie to try to help her man own up to his love for his friend, so instead, the story became about her trying to save him from alcoholism. This is a much less dramatic topic, and it's frankly dull and offensive to a beautifully written story. It's like telling "Little Red Riding Hood" as a story about the perils of packing a picnic basket, without any mention of a big bad wolf. If you want to see the fabulous play Williams actually wrote, get this one. If you just want to look at nice acting in a badly mangled, lame story, get the older one."