Carson McCullers’s first novel was the third of her works to reach the screen, following adaptations of The Member of the Wedding (1952), with Julie Harris and Ethel Waters, and Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), with Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Harris. The sensitive tale of a deaf and mute man (Alan Arkin) whose arrival in a small Southern town changes the lives of those he meets was so subtle and multi-layered it took screenwriter Thomas C. Ryan five years to come up with a suitable screenplay. That delay cost him his first choice for leading man, Montgomery Clift, who passed away before the film could start production in Selma, Alabama. Arkin played the role with a depth and sensitivity that earned him an Oscar nomination and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor.
Dir. Robert Ellis Miller
In attendance: Alan Arkin