TELEVISION: It Didn't Move

"I've tried three times but I can't finish it," said Actress Maureen Stapleton. But Director John Frankenheimer was adamant. Before they started rehearsals for Playhouse 90's ambitious, two-part production of For Whom the Bell Tolls, every member of the cast had to read Ernest Hemingway's 472-page novel about the Spanish Civil War. Frankenheimer's request helps explain why the show was a disappointment. It reflected a reverence for Papa Hemingway's prose, an unfortunate reliance on words, phrases and tricks of speech that were downright embarrassing heard out loud on TV. Examples :...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!