Which Movie Is Better?

        In 1879 A Doll's House was published by Henrik Ibsen. The book was later turned into two movies. The first movie was directed by Joseph Losey in 1973, and the second one was directed by Patrick Garland in 1973. Both directors brought a unique vision to the screen. Each director portrayed the characters as he saw them. Yet, Garland's version seems better because of the problems seen in the first movie does not seem to appear in the second movie.

        The movie directed by Losey seemed to start with some faults. The opening scene showed Nora Helmer (Jane Fonda) talking with her friend Christine (Delphine Seyrig). This detracted from the movie because it did not catch the attention of the viewer. Then it seems that the whole movie took a long time without saying anything; and then at the end, it went too fast. The end is the crucial part of the movie because it brings everything together. Torvald Helmer (David Warner) finally finds out what happens and is shocked, but the emotional impact is not there.

        The movie directed by Garland seems to follow the book closer in areas that matter. To begin with, the beginning moved faster. Also, I really liked that Nora, portrayed by Claire Bloom, does the squirrel action towards Torvald, acted by Anthony Hopkins. This shows the viewer just how Nora tries to please Torvald because a person can see the happiness when he sees her doing it. Also at the end, the emotional impact was there. My favorite line is the whole book occurs when Nora reacts to Torvald's assertion: "But no man would sacrifice his honour for the one he loves" by stating, "It is a thing that hundreds of thousands of women have done."

        Nora states, "Every woman has sacrificed everything for a man." To me this is a powerful statement because it shows the reader that men have been known to take and take without thought to what a woman gives. A person can see this even in today's society. I do not know if Nora even said it in the other movie version; if she did, the emotional impact was lacking.

        Both movies were done by good directors, but Losey seemed to focus on the parts that seemed trivial and less on the important parts. Garland seemed to grab the attention of the audience and hold it the whole way through. It is this reason why I prefer Garland's version and suggest that others watch his cinematic translation over Losey's.

Michell Maden

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