|Death of a Salesman|
|Written by||Arthur Miller|
|Story by||Arthur Miller (playwright)|
|Directed by||James B. Clark|
|Starring||Lee J. Cobb|
|Music by||Robert Drasnin|
|Country of origin||United States|
Marvin J. Chomsky (associate producer)
|Running time||100 minutes|
Death of a Salesman is a 1966 American made-for-television film adaptation of the 1949 play of the same name by Arthur Miller. It was directed by Alex Segal and adapted for television by Miller. It received numerous nominations for awards, and won several of them, including three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and a Peabody Award. It was nominated in a total of 11 Emmy categories at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1967. Lee J. Cobb reprised his role as Willy Loman and Mildred Dunnock reprised her role as Linda Loman from the original 1949 stage production.
Playbill markets this version of the play as an "abbreviated" one. Although the performance is abridged, it was adapted for television by Miller himself, meaning that not much substance was lost in the changes. The production was filmed after several weeks of rehearsals.
It was a 1966 CBS television adaptation, which included Gene Wilder, James Farentino, Bernie Kopell and George Segal. Cobb was nominated for an Emmy Award for the performance. Mildred Dunnock, who had co-starred in both the original stage version and the 1951 film version, again repeated her role as Linda, Willy's devoted wife, and earned an Emmy nomination. In addition to being Emmy-nominated, Cobb and Dunnock were Grammy Award-nominated at the 9th Grammy Awards in 1967 in the category of Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording. This movie is one of several adaptations of the play and was contemporaneous with a May 1966 BBC version starring Rod Steiger and produced by Alan Cooke.
The production marked the acclaimed reunion of the leading actor and actress from the original 1949 broadway cast. The performance also marks a strong dramatic turn for George Segal who is known for his comic work, while a young Gene Wilder presents a comic but sensitive performance as Bernard.
- Main Cast
- Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman
- Mildred Dunnock as Linda Loman
- James Farentino as Happy 'Hap' Loman
- George Segal as Biff Loman
- Gene Wilder as Bernard
- Supporting Cast
- Albert Dekker as Uncle Ben
- Edward Andrews as Charley
- Marge Redmond as Woman in Hotel
- Bernie Kopell as Howard Wagner
- Stanley Adams as Stanley
- Joan Patrick as Miss Forsythe
- Karen Steele as Letta
- June Foray as Jenny
In general, critics spoke well of the Xerox-sponsored CBS adaptation The day after it aired Jack Gould praised it in The New York Times with a column that began "An evening of exalted theater came to television last night in a revelation of Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman' that will stand as the supreme understanding of the tragedy of Willy Loman." Joan Crosby of The Pittsburgh Press praised all members of the Loman family for their performances and described the performance as "An evening of high drama, not to be missed". United Press International critic Rick Du Brow noted that the first television adaptation earned a place in history: "it promptly took its place among the most unforgettable productions in the history of the video medium." Du Brow praise Cobb's performance as great, Dunnock as a "bastion of strength decency and human understanding," Segal as "superb" and Farentino as "outstanding". Associated Press correspondent Cynthia Lowry described the show as a powerful depiction of "tense, sometimes painful drama" told mostly by flashbacks from happier times. Lowry described Cobb's distraught performance as "overwhelming", Dunnock's portrayal of the "loving, patient and blindly loyal wife" equally powerful and the performances of both sons as sensitive.
Segal won Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Television Film and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1967. Producers Susskind and Melnick also won the Emmy for Outstanding Dramatic Program. Meanwhile, Miller won the Emmy for Special Classifications of Individual Achievements as the adaptor. Cobb and Dunnock were Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama and Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama, respectively.
The production earned two Emmy nominations in Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafts classifications and four in Individual Achievements in Electronic Production classifications. Du Brow noted that the camera work made the transitions between Willy's temporal wanderings smooth and that the color use was also essential to the mood of the scenes.
- Alex Segal Won
Special Classifications of Individual Achievements
- Arthur Miller (adapter) Won
Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafts – Art Direction
- Tom H. John (art director)
Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafts – Art Direction
- Earl Carlson (set decorator)
Individual Achievements in Electronic Production – Electronic Cameramen
- Fred Gough (cameraman)
- Robert Dunn (cameraman)
- Jack Jennings (cameraman)
- Richard Nelson (cameraman)
- Gorm Erickson (cameraman)
Individual Achievements in Electronic Production – Lighting Directors
- Leard Davis (lighting director)
Individual Achievements in Electronic Production – Technical Directors
- A.J. Cunningham (technical director)
Individual Achievements in Electronic Production – Video Tape Editing
- James E. Brady (video tape editor)
- Tom H. John Won – (Also for Color Me Barbra and The Strolin' Twenties)
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