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Tennessee Williams Film | The Glass Menagerie

27-March from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

The Glass Menagerie (1950)

While on duty, Merchant Mariner Tom Wingfield recalls his life in a dilapidated St. Louis apartment with his delusional mother Amanda and crippled younger sister Laura, and their story unfolds via flashback.

Abandoned by her husband, Amanda is forced to sell magazine subscriptions, but still considers herself superior to her working class neighbors. Concerned about her daughter, a shy loner who is training to be a secretary, but whose real interest is her collection of glass animal figurines, Amanda urges Tom to bring home a friend who might be interested in dating his sister. He finally relents and invites Jim O’Connor to dinner.

Amanda is thrilled that her daughter finally will have a “gentleman caller” courting her. Determined to make a good first impression, she makes elaborate preparations for the meal, but complications arise when Laura learns the name of their expected guest, a boy she recalls was one of the most popular in high school. Feigning illness, she initially refuses to join everyone at the dinner table, but eventually Amanda encourages her to join the group, then arranges for Laura and Jim to be alone. Realizing she suffers from an inferiority complex, he draws her out of her shell by expressing interest in her collection and then persuading her to dance with him. Stumbling, Laura causes a glass unicorn to fall to the floor and lose its horn. At first upset by the damage, she realizes the loss of the horn makes the unicorn more like the horses and therefore less noticeable, as she feels she herself is because of her pronounced limp.

Jim suggests he and Laura go to the Paradise Ballroom, and Amanda is delighted, until he mentions he is engaged to a woman named Betty. Laura gives him the broken unicorn and invites him to return some day with his fiancée, but after he leaves her devastated mother berates Tom for raising her hopes. Laura is more understanding and reminds her brother she loves him. Seemingly free of her limp and brimming with self-confidence, Laura awaits a visit from another “gentleman caller” in an upbeat ending that deviates from the play.


March 27
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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Key West Art & Historical Society


Tropic Cinema
416 Eaton Street
Key West, FL 33040 United States
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