Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 289
Our Town was brought to the big screen in 1940 by producer Sol Lesser and director Sam Wood. Thornton Wilder received a writing credit for the screenplay. Frank Craven played the Stage Manager and also contributed to the screenplay. The film was nominated for Best Picture (losing to Rebecca). Ninety minutes, black & white, available from Nostalgia Home Video.
In September, 1955, NBC-TV Producers Showcase brought Our Town to the small screen with Frank Sinatra in the Stage Manager role, and Eva Marie Saint and Paul Newman as Emily and George. This production introduced the song "Love and Marriage'' ["go together like a horse and carnage"]. Earlier appearances of Our Town on television were as part of these anthology series: Robert Montgomery Presents (NBC, April, 1950) with Burgess Meredith as the Stage Manager, and Pulitzer Prize Playhouse (ABC, December, 1950) with Edward Arnold as the Stage Manager. Not available on video.
A second adaptation of Our Town appeared on NBC in November, 1959, with Art Carney in the Stage Manager role. Not available on video.
NBC presented a third special adaptation of Our Town in May, 1977, with Hal Holbrook as the Stage Manager and Glynnis O'Connor and Robby Benson as Emily and George. 120 minutes, color, available from Mastervision.
The most recent adaptation available on video is a 1989 TV version of the Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center production of Our Town. Spaulding Gray stars as the Stage Manager with Penelope Ann Miller and Eric Stolz as Emily and George. 104 minutes, color, available from Mastervision.
Britannica Films has two half-hour films, Our Town and Our Universe, I and Our Town and Ourselves, II. These films discuss the unusual conventions of the play and Wilder's use of music, light motif, and the condensed line or word. 1959, Britannica Films.
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