Death of a Salesman (Schlondorff, 1985) DVD
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Directed by Volker Schlondorff
Produced in 1985
Main Language - ENGLISH
Countries & Regions - American film
Taking a hiatus from Hollywood, Dustin Hoffman chose to spend most of 1984 playing Willy Loman in a Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s definitive study of the soured American Dream. The spectre of Lee J. Cobb loomed large; could the short, Method-acting film star compete? We needn’t have worried: Hoffman managed to redefine Loman, bringing a new perspective to his pathetic vulnerability, something that seemed a world away from Cobb, with his huge frame and thunderous, baritone voice. Cobb, of course, had excelled as the proud patriot, the gently powerful patriarch, being slowly broken down by his unachieved dreams, but Hoffman evokes a different kind of sympathy. His once-ambitious sales terrier is a loser from the start: a (literally) small man trying to be noticed, dreaming only of modest material and familial success (as if Ratso Rizzo had gone legitimate), which he still fails to achieve. Favouring a straight, stage-to-screen transfer of the production, Volker Schlondorff’s TV film provides a subtle magnification of Hoffman’s intense stage performance, and stands as a valuable record of a great American actor tackling a great American role.
Julian Upton on 6th May 2008
Author of 172 reviews
Screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's masterpiece about Willie Loman, the emotionally broken-down salesman. Dustin Hoffman recreates his Broadway role of Willy Loman, a tired, emotionally bankrupt salesman. The award-winning cast also features John Malkovich as Willy's son, Biff.
Length: 131 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 10th August 2009
Cat No: I2F3149