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Aster's avatar

Did , "Death of a Salesman" with Dustin Hoffman depress you too?

Asked by Aster (19984points) December 26th, 2016

Hoffman should have won an award for his performance in this maudlin movie and I hope he did. But it has stayed with me; I found it quite depressing. What did you think of the movie?

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24 Answers

janbb's avatar

Not sure if I saw the movie but I saw the play with Brian Dennehey and sure it was depressing. A lost life.,,,

kritiper's avatar

Depressing because he killed himself out of spite? Tragic!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I was in college when it first aired. My dad was saddened by it, and my roommates’ father’s, too.

It was an event. It was odd that all of us had a family story about watching a TV movie.

Pachy's avatar

Absolutely. Even more than it did the first time I tried to watch this remake. For two reasons:

1) Now that I’m much older than when I first saw it, I’m having he same kind of physical and mental challenges that plague Willy, who in the play is 63. The 60s then (and at the time the play was written) are today’s 70s.

2) Dustin Hoffman is NOT Willy Loman, never was, never will be. The only Willy Loman was the original actor who played him on stage and screen… Lee J. Cobb. Even though Cobb was actually younger than Hoffman when he first played the role, he looked and sounded like a 63 year-old man. Most of Cobb’s career was built on playing older man. Hoffman, whose career was built on playing young men, looked and sounded made up… he didn’t work for me. Same goes for other actors who have played the role. They’re just not Cobb.

It’s a wonderful play, arguably America’s finest, and I love it. But I just can’t watch it anymore.

ragingloli's avatar

Never watched it.
Glengarry Glen Ross was great, though.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ That was Al Pacino, not Dustin Hoffman. I think we all confuse the two actors. I’m never sure why that’s so; even though they’re about the same age, and they both rose to fame around the same time, they really don’t look or talk alike.

Aster's avatar

The one I saw starred Dustin Hoffman . Recognized him from, “The Graduate” and “Midnight Cowboy’s” Ratzo Rizzo. It’s like The Glass Managerie. This play’s three versions starred at least three actresses as the mother ; one was Joanne Woodward.
The other one playing the mother was Jessica Tandy which I’ve never seen.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ Dustin Hoffman played Willie Loman. Al Pacino starred in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino are a bit melded in my mind, too.

Maybe because both anti-hero guys with long dark hair who hit it big in the early 1970s?

janbb's avatar

That’s funny; they’re not in my mind at all. But Robert De Niro and Al Pacino I get confused.

ucme's avatar

If you confuse Hoffman & Pacino then I suggest you make an appointment with your optician.

Pachy's avatar

Good one, @ucme.

cazzie's avatar

It’s a famous play and it’s supposed to be maudlin, and make people reflect on their own lives, so yes. Makes you think. Makes you sad. It does it’s job.

Aster's avatar

OK guys. Here’s the proof I saw it starring Dustin Hoffmann. I rest my case.

janbb's avatar

Nobody was saying it wasn’t @Aster . You were misreading something.

Strauss's avatar

After reading the play in lit class, and then years later watching a friend in a community theater production, I was sure that I didn’t want to see the story ever again, no matter what the production.

It’s a very depressing story, and it pervaded my mood for weeks when we studied it in lit. I wa

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli I’m curious, What does “Glengarry Glenn Ross” have to do with a discussion of “Death of a Salesman”?

ragingloli's avatar

It is basically the same movie.

janbb's avatar

They’re both about salesmen but very different authors and viewpoints. Mamet is much more cynical.

Aster's avatar

@janbb above it says, ” That was Al Pacino, not Dustin Hoffman. I think we all confuse the two actors.”
Also above: “Dustin Hoffman is NOT Willy Loman, never was, never will be.”

janbb's avatar

@Aster I can understand your confusion but the remark about Pacino was in response to @ragingloli‘s remark right above it about “Glengarry Glen Ross” and the other was an opinion about the performance, not a literal statement.

abcbill's avatar

I’ll back up aster…

Hoffman won a Primetime Emmy for the part.

I’ve never watched ANY movie nor have I seen any performance of the play. Why?

I’ve studied the play-twice-high school…in some depth (had one helluva great senior English teacher…) and in a sophomore college American Lit. class in great depth. Between those two, I vowed I would NEVER work as a salesman…of any sort. I broke that vow once. Worst year of my life…

Miller’s plays tend to be depressing, in any event. Death of a Salesman? He out-did himself. The only element of the play that wasn’t depressing was-ummm-there was not one damn thing that wasn’t depressing.

He wrote great stuff, though, depressing as it was. Human, very human.

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