Katharine Hepburn, one of the great American actresses, stars in this film adaptation of one of the greatest American plays, Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie. Hepburn plays Amanda Wakefield, a faded Southern belle now living in a small urban apartment, where she suffocates her two children--her restless son Tom (a very young Sam Waterston) and her painfully shy daughter Laura (Joanna Miles)--with her incessant mixture of insistent cheer and guilt. After much prodding from Amanda, Tom finally brings home a friend from his workplace, in the hopes that he might strike up a romance with reclusive Laura. The result is one of the sweetest and most heartbreaking scenes ever written. Hepburn's steely will and sudden vulnerability make her ideal for the domineering mother, but the entire cast--including Michael Moriarty as the "gentleman caller"--is superb; Moriarty and Miles deservedly won Emmy awards for their performances. --Bret Fetzer
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