Nora Schmora

         Henrik Ibsen, in his 1879 play, A Doll's House, filmed twice in 1873 by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland respectively, exposes Torvald as an arrogant, self-centered, insecure husband of Nora. Garland's Torvald, played by Anthony Hopkins, seems a little more sensitive than Joseph Losey's character, played by David Warner. Hopkin's Torvald has more affection for his family although he still has a lot of pride in himself. In all versions, Torvald seem to like the idea of telling Nora (Jane Fonda/Claire Bloom) what to do. He loves the fact that she listens to him when he tells her not to eat macaroons. Torvald bribes her with money, which is ridiculous. But what woman would not take money when it is offered to her?

         Throughout both versions of the movie, there were times when I felt that Nora and Torvald are not meant to be together. Nora lies to him about things; she keeps things from him; and in the end she leaves him. It seemed a little backwards at first, but it was for the best. Torvald treats Nora like a child, although Hopkins' Torvald is nicer about it than is Warner's Torvald. He has silly pet names for her, which I would not have put up with from the beginning of the relationship. But, Nora still has some growing up to do as well, as one can see by the ending.

         In the end when Nora leaves Torvald and the children, I was extremely disappointed. How can she leave those children? They are her flesh and blood. In an immature fashion, Nora is punishing her children for the mistakes she and Torvald have made. Torvald does not even seem to pay any attention to those youngsters. Nora seems to have them the majority of the time. He will not know the first thing to do with them, although I suspect the more sensitive Hopkins' Torvald will do better than Warner's Torvald will.

Caitlin Summers

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