A Different View of the Doll's House

     In 1973, a second version of the film A Doll's House, was directed by Patrick Garland. I believe that Garland had a somewhat different view on the play that came out as he directed this second film. There were a few subtle differences from Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play, but the manner in which the actors portrayed them made this version really stand out in my head.

     The most outstanding difference between this film and the film directed by Joseph Losey had to be the actress that played the part of Nora. Claire Bloom did an outstanding job of being Nora, whereas Jane Fonda in Losey's version seemed to be Jane Fonda dressed up like Nora. Claire Bloom did an outstanding job of showing the audience that she was not stupid but actually was clever enough to have Torvald (Anthony Hopkins) believe that she obeyed him.

     Patrick Garland had Krogstad (Denholm Elliot) enter the room and have Christine (Anna Massey) and Krogstad see each other and their reactions implied to the audience early on that their was a connection between the two of them. Krogstad was also a more appealing person in this version of the play because he first asks Mrs. Linde about Christine and not about the job at the bank. Also, Krogstad does not accuse Mrs. Linde of forging the signature on the loan, but instead asks her if her father had really signed it, and in doing so he is giving her a little leeway.

     Garland's version had a very cunning Nora. I do not know if it was intended; but, in this version. Nora did not tell Christine about the loan or that she had forged her father's signature until Christine was helping her with her dress. Nora might have waited this long because she wanted to be sure that Christine would still be her friend, or maybe so that she could get her dress restitched. I felt this way because Nora could decorate the tree, but she could not help her friend stitch her own dress. Nora also fought Torvald for the letter to Krogstad announcing his dismissal. This scene showed an extremely strongwilled Nora. Nora also took it upon herself to go to Krogstad and see him about the loan contract before he came to her.

     Nora was more aggressive in Patrick Garland's version of the film. She actually tried to break into the letter box, but was caught by her daughter. Torvald hit Nora after eight years of marriage and begins to talk about how they will have to keep up appearances after he read Krogstad's letter. Nora demanded that he sit down, a very aggressive move for a woman in her position. When Torvald asked her if they could not live together as friends Nora turned him down flat.

     A great many people probably saw Nora as the poor unfortunate person in this film version, but I saw her as a cunning and conniving, wife. I enjoyed this version a great deal more than the play and Losey's version because I felt that Nora was a great deal more competent in this version and it made me feel that women are taking steps toward the future.

Mendy Adair

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