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The Fugitive Kind (1-Dec-1959)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writers: Tennessee Williams; Meade Roberts

From a play: Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams

Music Composed and Conducted by: Kenyon Hopkins

Producers: Martin Jurow; Richard A. Shepherd

Keywords: Drama

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
R. G. Armstrong
7-Apr-1917 27-Jul-2012 Pruneface in Dick Tracy
Marlon Brando
3-Apr-1924 1-Jul-2004 A Streetcar Named Desire
Victor Jory
23-Nov-1902 12-Feb-1982 Cat-Women of the Moon
Anna Magnani
7-Mar-1908 26-Sep-1973 The Rose Tattoo
Maureen Stapleton
21-Jun-1925 13-Mar-2006 Won an Oscar for playing Emma Goldman
Joanne Woodward
27-Feb-1930   The Three Faces of Eve


Marlon Brando   ...   Val Xavier
Anna Magnani   ...   Lady Torrance
Joanne Woodward   ...   Carol Cutrere
Maureen Stapleton   ...   Vee Talbot
Victor Jory   ...   Jabe Torrance
R. G. Armstrong   ...   Sheriff Talbot
John Baragrey   ...   David Cutrere
Virgilia Chew   ...   Nurse Porter
Sally Gracie   ...   Dolly Hamma
Ben Yaffee   ...   Dog Hamma
Lucille Benson   ...   Beulah Binnings
Joe Brown, Jr.   ...   Pee Wee Binnings
Emory Richardson   ...   Uncle Pleasant
Mary Perry   ...   Supporting Cast
Nell Harrison   ...   Supporting Cast
Spivy   ...   Ruby Lightfoot
Janice Mars   ...   Gas Station Attendant's Wife


Review by Anonymous (posted on 22-Aug-2007)

This Southern Gothic version of the Orpheus legend stars Marlon Brando as Val Xavier, the guitar-strumming drifter who wanders into a backwater "hell", where the locals don't have much use for outsiders. There, he meets "Lady"(Anna Magnani) the immigrant wife of the local mercantile store owner, Jabe Torrence,(Victor Jory) an obdurate racist, who, unbeknownst to Lady, was responsible for setting the fire that killed her father, after he accepted blacks into his wine garden. After Lady hires Val to help out at the store,the two outsiders are gradually drawn to each other, and Jabe, now a terminal invalid, suspects them of being lovers. Lady becomes pregnant by Val, and after learning about Jabe's implication in her father's death, looks forward to his imminent death and her new life with Val. But,the Orpheus legend didn't end so happily. Sidney Lumet helms the film expertly, with great black and white cinematography, and plenty of poetic atmosphere. Apparently, Brando was concerned that Magnani would "wipe the floor up" with him, and she was concerned aboutlearning the role phonetically. An operatic Magnani steals the show, but Brando's opening courthouse monologue is a great tour de force of Method acting. Maureen Stapleton is stellar in her small role, as the town sherrif's humane, alcholic wife, proving that there are no small parts for great actresses. Also, a young Joanne Woodward, as the town's nympho rich girl is superb--particularly her scene with Brando in the "bone-orchard". The film yields numerous pleasures, not to mention Tennessee William's poetic dialogue. He loved Magnani, and wrote the part for her. You might want to watch her afterward in William's "The Rose Tatoo" in order to observe the full range of her genius.

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