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A Delicate Balance Movie Review

maybe edward film albee

The credits for A Delicate Balance sound so tantalizing, it's sad that the film itself is such a drag to watch. Six years earlier on Broadway, the original play by Edward Albee had won the Pulitzer Prize, and actress Marian Seldes won a Tony for her performance. (Co-stars Hume Cronyn and Rosemary Murphy were also nominated, and the venerable Jessica Tandy was in it, too.) Maybe it was one of those unfilmable plays, or maybe its stars were too high profile to be persuasive in roles they weren't exactly born to play, or maybe it simply wasn't Tony Richardson's cup of tea. Luis Buñel's, maybe? Edward Albee and Eugene O'Neill were the only American playwrights represented in 13 American Film Theatre productions of the early 1970s. A Delicate Balance was released theatrically overseas in 1976. The only noteworthy thing about this movie was meeting Celeste Holm at a San Francisco matinee screening in the theatre lobby. She asked me if I accepted the premise of the film (No!) and if I wanted an autograph, would I give her a quarter for UNICEF? (Yes!)

1973 134m/C GB CA Katharine Hepburn, Paul Scofield, Lee Remick, Kate Reid, Joseph Cotten, Betsy Blair; D: Tony Richardson; W: Edward Albee; C: David Watkin. VHS

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