Unproduced Tennessee Williams screenplay finally reaching movie theaters

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Like many great playwrights, Tennessee Williams did his stint in Hollywood as a screenwriter and even earned two Oscar nominations for his work. But he also had his share of unproduced projects -- one a screenplay titled ‘The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond,’ which he is said to have written for director Elia Kazan during the 1950s.

On Dec. 30, a new film that uses his screenplay will open in theaters in L.A. and New York. The movie stars Chris Evans and Bryce Dallas Howard, and is directed by actress Jodie Markell.

The trailer for the film (above) is available online. From what we can tell, the plot seems to be pure essence of Williams, who died in 1983. It features a daffy Southern dame (Howard) who harbors a jealous lust for a hunky piece of rough trade (Evans). The period setting and the humid atmosphere are sure to get Williams completists all hot and bothered.

Early reviews, however, have been lukewarm. When the film debuted in 2008 at the Toronto Film Festival, a critic for the Hollywood Reporter wrote, ‘The story is a sketchy, dramatically muddled rumination on familiar Williams themes about the Old South and its brave, beautiful, rebellion women always on the brink of love, suicide or madness.’


A reviewer for Screen Daily wrote that Howard ‘probes the vulnerability that lies beneath’ her character but added that Evans is ‘oddly stiff.’

-- David Ng