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Reading the play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams was a interesting and pleasurable assignment Watching the movie The Glass Menagerie directed by Paul Newman was not The Glass Menagerie is about a lower-middle class family living in an apartment in St Louis The play centers around the conflict between Amanda and her two children Tom and Laura Amanda and Tom argue constantly and Laura is both physically crippled and painfully shy Laura spends most of her time polishing her glass collection and listening to old records Amanda strives to get Laura to break out of her shell and either attend business school or find a young man to marry Tom longs to quit his job working in a shoe factory to pursue the adventures he envisions from the movies he constantly watches With the exception of Karen Allens portrayal of Laura the acting in this movie made the play uninteresting and at times almost comical The movie was directed by Paul Newman His direction did not deviate far from the original text The dialogue was very close-- if not word for word--to the text If any lines in the movie differed from the original play it was only because the movie lines were paraphrased The setting was exactly as Williams described it Most of the play takes place in the familys small apartment a few scenes that are outside on the fire escape landing where Tom goes outside to smoke The directorial decisions made by Mr Newman did not stand out nor did the performances of his cast The first of the mediocre performances is Joanne Woodwards portrayal of Amanda In the text Amanda is written as a frustrating woman whos only salvation from her distressing life is the memory of the endless procession of gentlemen callers from her youth Amanda thinks back fondly on her earlier life and in comparison her present life is tragic and heartbreaking In Woodwards performance Amanda
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