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IMAGINE . . . ARTHUR MILLER: FINISHING THE PICTURE (TV)

Summary

One in this series of documentary programs focusing on the arts. In this episode, reporter Alan Yentob interviews playwright Arthur Miller over the course of three days at Miller's home in rural Connecticut. Incorporating vintage footage and archival photos with Miller's reflections, the program extensively covers the writer's life and works. Having just published his autobiography, "Timebends," Miller looks back over his diaries and says he "finds" himself every week, with "no end to discovering new portions of myself, my memories, and reinterpretations of them." Miller goes on to address a wide variety of subjects, including: how his family emigrated from Poland and he grew up fascinated by his great-grandfather's Yiddish stories, even though he didn't understand the language; how the Depression of 1930 politicized him, resulting in his play about profiteering, "All My Sons"; the shocked reaction of theatergoers on the opening night of "Death of a Salesman"; his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, noting that "the very inappropriateness of our being together was, to me, the sign that it was appropriate"; making "On the Waterfront" and being asked by Columbia Pictures to turn the gangsters into communists; his "devastation" at the blacklisting hearings headed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and how his own questioning -- at which he refused to name names -- resulted in his writing of "The Crucible"; his anger and sense of betrayal when hearing that his friend and colleague, director Elia Kazan, had named names for McCarthy; the dissolution of his marriage to Monroe while she was acting in John Huston's "The Misfits," featuring a script that Miller had written specifically for her; his remarriage to photographer Inge Morath; directing "Death of a Salesman" in China; being widely demonized after writing "After the Fall," which was perceived to be about his marriage to Monroe; and being "objective" while writing about himself in the play, "Finishing the Picture." Nearing age 90, Miller concludes that he thinks about his mortality every day.

The acquisition and cataloging of The Arthur Miller Collection was made possible by The Laura Pels Foundation.

Details

  • NETWORK: BBC 1 (United Kingdom)
  • DATE: November 24, 2004 Wednesday
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:10:24
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:87446
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries; Talk/Interviews
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Arthur Miller Collection, The
  • SERIES RUN: BBC1 (United Kingdom) - TV series, 2003-
  • COMMERCIALS: N/A

CREDITS

  • Alan Yentob … Executive Producer, Reporter
  • Alison Castle … Coordinating Producer
  • Emily Erlam … Coordinating Producer
  • Leslie Megahey … Producer
  • Ian MacMillan … Producer
  • Catrin Mair Thomas … Associate Producer
  • Louise Hooper … Director
  • Freddie Nottidge … Researcher
  • Arthur Miller … Guest
  • Stacy Keach … Cast
  • Matthew Modine … Cast
  • Stephen Lang … Cast
  • Linda Lavin … Cast
  • Scott Glenn … Cast
  • Heather Prete … Cast
  • Harris Yulin … Cast
  • Frances Fisher … Cast
  • Christian Slater … Voice
  • John Huston
  • Elia Kazan
  • Inge Morath
  • Joseph McCarthy
  • Marilyn Monroe
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