24 user 2 critic

The Glass Menagerie (1973)

TV-PG | | Drama | TV Movie 16 December 1973
Amanda Wingfield dominates her children with her faded gentility and exaggerated tales of her Southern belle past. Her son plans escape; her daughter withdraws into a dream world. When a "... See full summary »


Anthony Harvey


Stewart Stern (screenplay), Tennessee Williams (play)
Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Amanda Wingfield
Sam Waterston ... Tom Wingfield
Joanna Miles ... Laura Wingfield
Michael Moriarty ... Jim O'Connor


Amanda Wingfield dominates her children with her faded gentility and exaggerated tales of her Southern belle past. Her son plans escape; her daughter withdraws into a dream world. When a "gentleman caller" appears, things move to crisis point. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the late 40s director George Cukor considered filming the play with Hepburn as Laura, Laurette Taylor as Amanda and Spencer Tracy as "The gentleman Caller." See more »


Amanda Wingfield: You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present becomes the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it.
See more »


Version of Glasmenageriet (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

"Chew Chew Chew"
11 December 2017 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Early in the story, a loquacious Amanda (Katharine Hepburn) and her two twenty-something children, Tom (Sam Waterston) and Laura (Joanna Miles), are eating dinner in their dining room. In her long-winded, nervous chatter, Amanda abruptly notices that son Tom is eating too fast. "You must chew your food; animals have secretions … But human beings must chew their food; a well-cooked meal has many delicate flavors, so chew, chew, chew." To which an angry Tom shoots back: "Mother, I have not enjoyed one bite of this dinner because of your constant directions on how to eat it. It's you that makes me rush through meals with your hawk-like attention to every bite I take".

Later, Tom is sitting at a table writing. Amanda comes over and scolds him for his poor posture: "Now why can't you sit up straight … I know what that position does to your internal organs. Now you sit up straight; here I'll show you. Your stomach pressed against your lungs, your lungs pressed against your heart, and that poor little heart gets discouraged 'cause it hasn't got any room left to go on beatin' for you".

But that's Amanda: an overbearing busybody who means well, but dominates those around her. She is so sure of herself and her moral values. Tom feels trapped, not only by his mother but also because of his mundane job at a warehouse. Daughter Laura is crippled and has a dreadful inferiority complex, which makes her shy. She identifies with her tiny glass animals, as fragile as she is.

Set almost entirely indoors in a drab little apartment in St. Louis, "The Glass Menagerie" is a play that conveys a lot of human feelings: anger, guilt, regret, dependency, and emotional damage. There's also a bit of humor. The story takes place during the WWII era of the 1940s. Eventually, Amanda imposes her wishes on Laura as well, as the mother badgers Tom to bring home a "gentleman caller" for Laura, in an effort to prevent Laura from being an old maid. What follows is both inspiring and heartrending.

The claustrophobic script is talky as one would expect for a play. The drab costumes are appropriate given the family's financial straits and the time period. Camera is largely static and functions mainly as a fly on the wall. Casting is very good. Acting is terrific. Hepburn does a wonderful job, except that she talks too fast for a Southern woman. The ending leaves viewers hanging.

With minor exceptions, the script and the performances are marvelous. Yet I'm not sure I would want to watch the film again; it is so depressing, especially toward the end.

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