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Film and television
The play has been filmed several times, originally as a silent film in 1920, with Joan Ritz as Maggie and Arthur Pitt as her father. It was filmed again with sound in 1931, with James Harcourt as Hobson, Frank Pettingell as Mossop, Joan Maude as Alice, and Viola Lyel as Maggie. The best-known film version is that of 1954 directed by David Lean. It starred Charles Laughton as Hobson and Brenda De Banzie as Maggie. John Mills played Will Mossop, Maggie’s suitor, and Prunella Scales made her second film appearance as Vicky Hobson.
It was Americanized in the 1983 TV version, set in 1914 New Orleans, starring Jack Warden as Hobson, Sharon Gless as Maggie, and Richard Thomas as Will. It was broadcast on CBS TV on December 21, 1983. The New York Times review summarized the story line thus: «Burt Prelutsky’s script transposes the setting to New Orleans, and the year, for whatever arbitrary reason, is 1914. Henry Horatio Hobson, owner of a successful shoe store, is still a carousing drunk, complaining about how fate has saddled him with three daughters. Maggie, his eldest, can barely conceal her contempt for daddy’s more outrageous ways, and she is determined to get out from under his domination. As her vehicle toward that end, she chooses Will, a gentle and illiterate master shoemaker working in Hobson’s basement.» The review goes on:»Much of the problem would seem to be rooted in the casting. Jack Warden is an accomplished actor but he is at his best in the big-city settings of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. He is not terribly persuasive as a New Orleans gentleman, albeit a drunken one. Sharon Gless is more successful with Maggie, giving the character an admirably unyielding integrity. But her performance doesn’t quite jibe with that of Richard Thomas as Will