Paddy Chayefsky Allan Lewis - Essay

Allan Lewis

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Passion of Joseph D (1964) well illustrates the problems of the television writer now dedicated to the theatre. The play deals with the Russian Revolution and the role played by Stalin…. Influenced by the expressionists, and Bertolt Brecht in particular, Chayefsky attempted a political burlesque comparable to those frequently seen in German nightclubs.

The play is in the form of historical episodes, often unrelated; actors address the audience directly, and songs and comedy routines interrupt the action. (p. 181)

Had the play maintained [the broad satiric tone of the nightclub scenes], it might have been a bright new form. Chayefsky, however, turns serious and realistic...

(The entire section is 457 words.)