Cinema: Cyclamate Substitute

Almost by definition, the several segments of an "anthology" film are forced to huddle under a thematic umbrella. Most often, the umbrella is a single author, as in O. Henry's Full House, or Somerset Maugham's Quartet, Trio and Encore. Or Truman Capote's Trilogy. In Capote's case, the effect is magnified by Director Frank Perry (Last Summer), working from scenarios by his wife Eleanor in collaboration with the author.

In Miriam, a ghost tale in the manner of Henry James, a loquacious Nanny (Mildred Natwick) is persecuted by a dead-eyed little girl (Susan Dunfee). Capote,...

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