Introduced by Tom Wingfield as a memory play, it is based on his recollection of his disillusioned and delusional mother Amanda and her shy, crippled daughter Laura. Amanda’s husband abandoned the family long ago, and her memory of her days as a genteel Southern belle surrounded by devoted beaux may be more romanticized than real.
Tom is an aspiring writer who works in a warehouse to support his family, and the banality and boredom of everyday life leads him to spend most of his spare time watching movies in local cinemas at all hours of the night. Amanda is obsessed with finding a proper “gentleman caller” for Laura, who spends most of her time with her collection of glass animal figurines.
To appease his mother, Tom eventually brings Jim O’Connor home for dinner, but complications arise when Laura realizes he is the man she loved in high school and has thought of ever since. He dashes her hopes of a future together when he announces he is engaged. Infuriated, Amanda lashes out at her son for raising his sister’s hopes and Tom leaves, never to return to his family.
The Glass Menagerie is a 1987 American drama film directed by Paul Newman. It is a replication of a production of the Tennessee Williams play of the same title that originated at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then transferred to the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.
The film is the fourth adaptation of the Williams play, following a 1950 feature film and television movies made in 1966 and 1973. It was shown at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival before opening in New York City on October 23, 1987.
The Glass Menagerie (1987)
Directed by: Paul Newman
Starring: Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen, James Naughton
Screenplay by: Tennessee Williams
Production Design by: Tony Walton
Cinematography by: Michael Ballhaus
Film Editing by: David Ray
Costume Design by: Tony Walton
Set Decoration by: Susan Bode
Art Direction by: John Kasarda
Music by: Henry Mancini
Distributed by: Cineplex Odeon Films
Release Date: October 23, 1987