Preferring a Cinematic Garland

         The 1973 version of A Doll's House, directed by Joseph Losey, was somewhat of a bore, whereas the other 1973 adaptation of A Doll's House, directed by Patrick Garland, was much more engrossing, although Delphine Seyring in Losey's version did a more convincing job of portraying Nora's longtime friend, Christine Linde, than did Anna Massey in Garland's film. Jane Fonda's whining and poor acting made Nora Helmer somewhat annoying to me, whereas Claire Bloom made Nora come to life for me. David Warner's surly, grumpy Torvald was far less attractive and generated far less passion in the marriage than Anthony Hopkins' more emotional Torvald.

         Delphine Seyring, who depicted Christine Linde, a longtime friend of Nora, did a brilliant job with her supporting character. She seemed more of a companion to Nora, as compared to Anna Massey, who played Christine in the other 1973 version of A Doll's House, directed by Patrick Garland. For example, Seyring was more talkative and interacted well with Fonda's character. However, Massey was somewhat reserved and quiet, and I had a difficult time believing that they were actually friends.

         In Garland's version, Bloom did an exceptional performance as Nora when compared to Fonda. For example, Bloom did squirrel noises and antics to get Torvald's attention, whereas Jane just leaped and pranced about like an over-aged child. I really enjoyed Bloom's dancing at the Christmas party more than Fonda's performance. I could see more of a struggle and guilt with her dancing than I could with Fonda. Another example of Bloom's acting than Fonda was the interaction with the children. The children were not a huge role in either version; however, I seemed more of a parental love towards both Hopkins and Bloom than with Fonda and Warner.

         A famous today actor, Anthony Hopkins did an outstanding job as Torvald Helmer in Garland's version. For example, any viewer could see the love he had for his wife, Claire Bloom's Nora. Also in the final, climaxing scene, in which Nora and Torvald were finally confronting each other over their failed marriage, Hopkins came across with a magnificent performance, showing his fury and then his remorse to Nora. On the other hand, Warner remained stolid and surly throughout, as though he really could not care about what Jane's Nora had to tell him.

         In conclusion, although I preferred Delphine Seyrig's Christine more than I did Anna Massey's Christine, I preferred watching Garland's A Doll's House, with Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins' performances. They were outstanding in their characters and thus caused me to enjoy this version much more than the one featuring the Jane Fonda-David Warner travesty of a marriage.

Kyla DeHay

Table of Contents