Enter Jane, Exit Nora

     There are two cinematic of Henry Ibsen's 1879 play, A Doll's House. Both films were produced in the same year, 1973 and each had a different view of Ibsen's play, and neither film was a true adaptation of Ibsen's characters or plot. However, I feel that the one starring Jane Fonda was the worse of the two.

     In the first film of A Doll's House, starring Jane Fonda, as Nora and David Warner, as Torvald Helmer, I was greatly disappointed with both Fonda and Warner. Fonda was obviously only concerned with turning this film into a Women's Lib movement. She was not a weak, timid, little mouse that was truly in love with her husband and thought that he could never do any wrong, like the Nora depicted in Henry Ibsen's play. She seemed like a cunning, bright, intelligent, and quick-witted woman, who, if she decided to leave her husband, would have no problem supporting herself. Not only was she obviously out to get Torvald, but she was constantly monopolizing the camera. Almost every time I saw her she was smack-dab in front of the camera, overacting, and looking as if she had walked onto the wrong set.

     David Warner, as Torvald Helmer, was nothing like the caring, sweet, but with-an-undertone-of-sarcasm husband that I had expected. Throughout the film he looked as if he would have rathered have been in hell than be opposite of Jane Fonda and her crusade. He probably could have been toned Fonda down if he had wanted to and maybe have made this film worth watching.

     The other actors and actresses, such as Trevor Howard, as Dr. Rank, and Anna Wing, as Nursemaid Anna-Marie, did a tolerable job, if one considers the circumstances they had to work with. However, their performance did seem halfhearted.

I wonder how director, Joseph Losey, could have ever let this film be viewed by the American public. I feel that it is a defiant embarrassment to the whole movie industry, as well as to Jane Fonda. I feel that this film did not do any justice for me or for others to read this book again.

Julie A. Hoffman

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