Eccentricities of a Nightgale

Overview

Blythe Danner and Frank Langella star in this made-for-television adaptation of Tennessee Williams' drama. Alma Winemiller (Danner) is a woman of the South -- educated, soft-spoken, somewhat shy, and possessing a thoroughly original turn of mind. For quite some time, Alma has been infatuated with the handsome doctor who lives next door (Langella), but she's been unable to catch his eye. When he invites Alma to spend the night with him at a hotel, she has no illusions about what he wants from the relationship, but...
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Overview

Blythe Danner and Frank Langella star in this made-for-television adaptation of Tennessee Williams' drama. Alma Winemiller (Danner) is a woman of the South -- educated, soft-spoken, somewhat shy, and possessing a thoroughly original turn of mind. For quite some time, Alma has been infatuated with the handsome doctor who lives next door (Langella), but she's been unable to catch his eye. When he invites Alma to spend the night with him at a hotel, she has no illusions about what he wants from the relationship, but her loneliness and her desire has grown strong enough that she can't bear to turn him down. The Eccentricities of a Nightingale was first shown on PBS in 1975.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A rather radical reworking of his earlier play, Summer and Smoke, Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale is full of the rich, poetic language that was the playwright's hallmark. It also focuses on two of his familiar themes: the fragility of the individual and how society tries to crush or repress the eccentricities of those who do not quite fit in. Smaller in scope than his major works and lacking their profound emotional impact, Eccentricities is still a moving experience, thanks in no small part to the finely detailed performances of its two leads. As Alma, Blythe Danner is jittery and fidgety, prone to "palpitations" and neurotic attacks, but she has a steely inner core that manages to break through. Danner is also not afraid to show the pathetic side of the character, yet doesn't allow her to become a figure of derision. Even in the final scene, when it is revealed that Alma has become an outcast with a reputation for loose moral behavior, Danner opts to show that that has freed Alma rather than demeaned her. As her suitor, Frank Langella is a marvel of quiet power, using his soft, yet deep, voice to gently convey his understanding of the world and of the Almas that inhabit it. Rarely have an actor's eyes expressed so much as Langella's, which seem to have a life of their own. Even these wonderful actors have a difficult time making the climactic hotel scene work, as Williams' symbolism becomes almost laughably heavy-handed. For the most part, however, this is a very fine production of an interesting work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/11/2002
  • UPC: 032031260597
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kultur Video
  • Time: 2:00:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 84,457

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Blythe Danner Alma Winemiller
Frank Langella
Technical Credits
Trevor Williams Production Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Act One -- The Feeling of a Singer: Scene 1 -- The Fountain, Fourth of July [15:19]
2. Act One -- The Feeling of a Singer: Scene 2 -- The Rectory, Christmas Eve [13:31]
3. Act One -- The Feeling of a Singer: Scene 3 -- The Rectory, A Few Minutes Later [16:23]
4. Act Two -- The Tenderness of a Mother: Scene 1 -- The Buchanan House [8:52]
5. Act Two -- The Tenderness of a Mother: Scene 2 -- The Rectory, The Following Monday Night [8:41]
6. Act Two -- The Tenderness of a Mother: Scene 3 -- Dr. Buchanan's Office, Later That Night [13:37]
7. Act Two -- The Tenderness of a Mother: Scene 4 -- New Year's Eve [6:11]
8. Act Three -- A Cavalier's Plume: Scene 1 -- The Fountain [14:05]
9. Act Three -- A Cavalier's Plume: Scene 2 -- A Small Hotel [8:42]
10. Epilogue: The Fountain, Another Fourth of July [5:11]
11. Credits [3:05]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Selections
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