The Glass Menagerie (1950)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Glass Menagerie Photos

Movie Info

In this film, adapted from the play by Tennessee Williams, Tom is a poetic idealist trapped in a dead-end job. Tom lives with his mother Amanda, a faded Southern belle, and with his shy, crippled sister Laura. However, Laura is brought out of her shell by one of Tom's co-workers.
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Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


Jane Wyman
as Laura Wingfield
Kirk Douglas
as Gentleman Caller
Gertrude Lawrence
as Amanda Wingfield
Arthur Kennedy
as Tom Wingfield
Ralph Sanford
as Mendoza
Ann Tyrrell
as Clerk
John Compton
as Young Man
Gertrude Graner
as Woman Instructor
Sarah Edwards
as Mrs. Miller
Louise Lorimer
as Miss Porter
Sean McClory
as Richard
James Horn
as Caller
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Glass Menagerie

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

The Glass Menagerie has a lot going for it, even if director Irving Rapper (Now, Voyager) misses several opportunities to take the characters deeper.

Full Review… | January 4, 2012
Nick's Flick Picks

The first film to be made out of Tennessee Williams play is one oe the weakest; it's still theater and Gertrude Lawrence is miscast in the lead.

Full Review… | March 16, 2011

Audience Reviews for The Glass Menagerie


The only film adaptation of the play with which Williams himself was involved, "The Glass Menagerie" plays the comedy unusually light, often sidestepping or de-escalating the moments of conflict and heartbreak, even going so far as to change the ending to make it more upbeat. What's surprising is how much of it works. Arthur Kennedy gives an expert performance as Tom, and the whole cast is solid (even if Kirk Douglas feels a bit miscast--he lobbied for the role in an effort to change his image, and he does fine work, but is strangely unconvincing as the gentleman caller). Williams', co-writer Peter Berneis', and director Irving Rapper's choices to expand the story beyond the confines of the Wingfield's home make for an interesting, if uneven, experiment (and it's interesting to note that Williams originally pitched the story as a film before losing his studio job and writing it as a play); the reaction shots of Gertrude Lawrence's Amanda, in particular, are a pretty glaring misstep, and, except for a brief argument with his boss, Tom is unusually amiable and cheerful in most of his scene at the warehouse that is supposed to make him envy dead people. Still, the performances are good, and, while Rapper never really makes his "Menagerie" cohesive, there are more than merely sporadic flashes of the beauty and bittersweetness and vulnerability that have made the play one of the classics of the American stage. Essential for fans of the title and playwright, and an interesting and mostly very engaging piece of film history for anyone else.

Davey Morrison Dillard
Davey Morrison Dillard

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