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Summer and Smoke

Summer and Smoke (1961)

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Release Date: Nov 16, 1961 Wide

audience

66

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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 259

My Rating

Movie Info

Tennessee Williams' Broadway play Summer and Smoke (expanded from his one-act piece Eccentricities of a Nightingale) was brought to the screen by adaptors James Poe and Meade Roberts and director Peter Glenville. Geraldine Page repeats her stage role as minister's daughter Alma Winemiller, who lives a spinsterish existence in her WWI-era Mississippi home town. Though her hateful mother (Una Merkel) has nothing but nasty things to say about men, Alma carries a torch for her handsome next-door

May 30, 1991

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All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (0) | DVD (4)

This screen version of Tennessee Williams's noted play is poorly directed (it' still theater), but it's well acted by Geraldine Page

June 5, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Summer and Smoke

Moody, stage bound drama with some typical Williams touches has a heavy gothic atmosphere and good performances to recommend it. Geraldine Page conveys the Alma"s yearnings with her customary skill and even the usually stiff Harvey is more accomplished than usual. Also standing out in a small role is Una Merkel as Alma's mother giving an affecting performance in just a few scenes.
December 8, 2012
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A Southern belle longs for a doctor who pays more attention to desires of the flesh than Southern social mores.
It's rare for me to find a superficial quality about an actor that detracts from her performance enough for me to mention it, but Geraldine Page is an unfortunate exception: I hate her face. When she smiles, her cheeks pucker into two protruding circles that dominate her expression; it's like she's got two jawbreakers stuck in her cheeks. And her expression is always coy - coyly distressed, coyly happy, coyly longing. Yes, it's superficial, but the structure of her face actually detracted from her performance.
The film's central conflict is a "will he or won't he grow up" dramatic question, and such a plot obviously reinforces traditional values, or in this case, traditional Southern mores. This plot by itself isn't too strong, but with Tennessee Williams's language, it becomes more compelling. Long monologues about passion and fire make fucking around seem like a spiritual communion. This isn't Williams's best writing - some of the metaphors are overwrought and the Southern belle act has gotten cliche - but in the hands of anyone else, it would have been a bland, cliche story about a man being saved by the love of a good woman with a predictable twist.
Overall, though it's one of his lesser works, fans of Tennessee Williams might enjoy this film.
August 15, 2012
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Most Williams conversions to the screen have been fabulous but this one is a let down. There are elements to the directing I think that don't allow for the story to flow as effectively as it could.
April 15, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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