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Summer and Smoke Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Tennessee Williams' Broadway play Summer and Smoke (expanded from his one-act piece Tennessee Williams) was brought to the screen by adaptors James Poe and Meade Roberts and director Peter Glenville. Geraldine Page repeats her stage role as minister's daughter Alma Winemiller, who lives a spinsterish existence in her WWI-era Mississippi home town. Though her hateful mother (Una Merkel) has nothing but nasty things to say about men, Alma carries a torch for her handsome next-door neighbor and lifelong friend, Dr. John Buchanan (Laurence Harvey). The doctor prefers the companionship of Rosa (Rita Moreno), a "wrong side of the tracks" girl who is as open and freewheeling as Alma is shy and repressed. Desperate for Buchanan's attention, Alma begins behaving with uncharacteristic affection towards him. He misreads her signals and attempts to seduce her. Already on the edge, Alma goes ballistic, literally running out of Buchanan's life. When the doctor throws an engagement party for himself and Rosa, the neurotic Alma tells Buchanan's father (John McIntire) that a wantonly immoral get-together is taking place in the doctor's home--an act of vengeance that has long-range tragic consequences. By film's end, the previously strait-laced Alma, unhinged by previous events, has become as misguidedly passionate as her spiritual sister, John McIntire's Blanche DuBois. Summer and Smoke earned Academy Award nominations for both Geraldine Page and Una Merkel; while Merkel would never win an Oscar, Ms. Page finally collected her statuette for 1985's A Trip to Bountiful. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:November 16, 1961

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sam Comer Best Color Art Direction 1961 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Una Merkel Best Supporting Actress 1961 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Tyler Best Color Art Direction 1961 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Geraldine Page Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama 1961 Winner
National Board of Review Geraldine Page Best Actress 1961 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Geraldine Page Best Actress 1961 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Peter Glenville Best Director 1961 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Elmer Bernstein Best Original Score 1961 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elmer Bernstein Best Drama or Comedy Score 1961 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hal Pereira Best Color Art Direction 1961 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Arthur Krams Best Color Art Direction 1961 Nominee

Cast

Laurence Harvey
as John Buchanan
Geraldine Page
as Alma Winemiller
John McIntire
as Dr. Buchanan
Una Merkel
as Mrs. Winemiller
Malcolm Atterbury
as Rev. Winemiller
Rita Moreno
as Rosa Zacharias
Pamela Tiffin
as Nellie Ewell
Thomas Gomez
as Papa Zacharias
Casey Adams
as Roger Doremus
Rico Alaniz
as Knife Thrower
Cheryl Anderson
as Alma as a Girl
Marjorie Bennett
as Saleslady
Maggie Blye
as Dusty
Pattee Chapman
as Cynthia
Almira Sessions
as Woman
Charles Watts
as Dignitary-Bandleader
Elektra Rozanska
as Mrs. Anderson
Lee Patrick
as Mrs. Ewell
Earl Holliman
as Archie Kramer
Pamela Duncan
as Pearl
Jester Hairston
as Thomas
Pepe Hern
as Nico
Dick Ryan
as Dr. Hodges
Harry Shannon
as Dr. Burke
Marjorie Bennett
as Saleslady
Jester Hairston
as Thomas
Dick Ryan
as Dr. Hodges
Elektra Rozanska
as Mrs. Anderson
Cheryl Anderson
as Alma as a Girl
Pattee Chapman
as Cynthia
Pepe Hern
as Nico
Maggie Blye
as Dusty
Lee Patrick
as Mrs. Ewell
Pamela Duncan
as Pearl
Earl Holliman
as Archie Kramer
Charles Watts
as Dignitary-Bandleader
Almira Sessions
as Woman
Rico Alaniz
as Knife Thrower

Crew

Peter Glenville
Director
Hal B. Wallis
Producer
James Poe
Screenwriter
Meade Roberts
Screenwriter
Tennessee Williams
Play Author
Charles B. Lang
Cinematographer
Elmer Bernstein
Composer (Music Score)
Warren Low
Editor
Walter Tyler
Art Director
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Arthur Krams
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Charles Grenzbach
Sound/Sound Designer
John P. Fulton
Special Effects
Wally Westmore
Makeup
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