The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs

  • 1960
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

The play won the Pulitzer Prize but never really captured a large audience. The Ravetch-Frank screen adaptation did as well as it could with the stage-bound material. Preston is again a larger-than-life character as he was in the THE MUSIC MAN. His performance jars the screen because everyone else properly underplays for the medium of film under director...read more

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The play won the Pulitzer Prize but never really captured a large audience. The Ravetch-Frank screen adaptation did as well as it could with the stage-bound material. Preston is again a larger-than-life character as he was in the THE MUSIC MAN. His performance jars the screen because

everyone else properly underplays for the medium of film under director Mann's hand. It's the saga of an Oklahoma family with several problems. Father Preston temporarily leaves mother McGuire for mistress Angela Lansbury; Shirley Knight is in love with a Jewish boy, Lee Kinsolving, who eventually

commits suicide because he can't take the anti-Semitism he encounters; McGuire's sister Arden is married to a weak wimp Overton, and the son, Eyer, is afraid of the dark at the top of the stairs. Each story is played out and intertwined with the others, and when it's all over not that much has

happened. It must have been about Inge's life while he was growing up in the 1920s. Shirley Knight got an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her small but effective role. She lost out that year to Shirley Jones in ELMER GANTRY. This was difficult subject matter for a 1960s audience to

sit through. It never achieved the kind of success the studio had anticipated.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The play won the Pulitzer Prize but never really captured a large audience. The Ravetch-Frank screen adaptation did as well as it could with the stage-bound material. Preston is again a larger-than-life character as he was in the THE MUSIC MAN. His perform… (more)

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