2 September 2018 | SimonJack
Lawrence nails her southern accent in this Tennessee Williams film
Gertrude Lawrence only made 13 films in her career, but she was beloved for her stage performances in England and on Broadway. The English-born actress does a fantastic job with her southern accent as Amanda Wingfield. She plays the perfect nagging yet doting mother in "The Glass Menagerie."
Jane Wyman plays her daughter, Laura, and Arthur Kennedy is her son, Tom. The cast of this first film of the play is rounded out with Kirk Douglas as Jim O'Connor and Ralph Sanford as Mendoza. With this superb cast, this may be the best film rendition of the Tennessee Williams story on which the film is based.
One drawback is its revised ending that leaves a question in the viewers mind. So, what eventually happened to Amanda and Laura? And, I agree with observations by some that the effort to make Lawrence appear younger is a negative. Especially when she gets dolled up for the dinner evening with their guest, Jim O'Connor.
Lawrence was well liked by audiences as a dramatic and comedy performer. Besides the stage and films, she played nightclubs and sang. She won a Tony for her starring role in the original Broadway production of "The King and I" opposite Yul Brynner.
But, Lawrence made so few films, that there aren't many examples of her acting talent available otherwise. This version of "The Glass Menagerie" may be the best example for movie buffs to see a performance by this fine British star of stage and screen.
Lawrence died at age 52 of cancer. She lived a high life, well beyond her substantial means, and was deeply in debt most of her life.
Here's a favorite line from the film. Jim O'Connor, Ah, when you first meet Mendoza, you don't like him. But, when you get to know him, you hate him."