Period of Adjustment


Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Fresh71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled51%
IMDb Rating6.2101448

pre-codemartial difficulties

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Jane Fonda Photo
Jane Fonda as Isabel Haverstick
John Astin Photo
John Astin as Smoky Anderson
Dub Taylor Photo
Dub Taylor as Drunk
Lois Nettleton Photo
Lois Nettleton as Dorothea Bates
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1 GB
English 2.0
29.97 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S ...
1.86 GB
English 2.0
29.97 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JuguAbraham7 / 10

Inward-looking play on marriage--far from a comedy

I am amused that this film based on Tennessee William's work got nominated as a comedy for two different cinema awarding bodies. If this is a comedy, so would Albee's "Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf" be termed a comedy. Can this work be called a black comedy? Even this is doubtful--you could call "MASH" a black comedy but not "Period of Adjustment."

The play made me sit up, not laugh. The play may not be of the same caliber as William's other work like "The Night of Iguana" or "The Streetcar named Desire" but it forces the audience to look inwards. Unfortunately, director George Roy Hill in his first regular film effort as a director does not display the capability that he showed in directing his later films ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting," "A Little Romance," etc.). He fumbles with his editing: the shift of scene from the Baitz' to the Haversticks on stage would have been aided by a curtain or the lights going off, but in this film the switch from Fonda/Hutton to Franciosa/Nettleton is too abrupt and confusing. Yet Roy Hill shows his capability of eliciting fine performances from his cast, especially Jane Fonda (as he did later with Redford, Newman and Lord Laurence Olivier),and the dog!

Viewing this film 40 years after it was made, one cannot but appreciate the values of Tennessee Williams (and George Roy Hill) and the subject under discussion. How many contemporary directors would venture to make a film of the play today?

The film is fine entertainment value for those who like a good play on film (you need cinema to show visual shock of viewing the hearse for the first time, the stage can never provide the same effect).

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

Honeymoon Nerves

Jim Hutton and Jane Fonda are a pair of newlyweds, she's a nice, but not terribly bright young lady and he's a bit of a blow-hard. But it will all work out they're told because they're just going through a Period Of Adjustment to each other and to their new status as marrieds.

But the viewer might not think so at first when after a minor quarrel mushrooms the two of them arrive unexpectedly at the home of Hutton's Korean War buddy Tony Franciosa on Christmas Eve. But he's having some marital problems of her own. His wife Lois Nettleton has just walked out on him, taking their young son with him. As gently as he can put it, Franciosa's not one for giving marital advice, especially not at this time. But war breeds some interesting bonds and what's an old army pal to do?

Tennessee Williams whose work is usually heavily laden with dramatic angst about sexual issues, takes a lighter tone in Period Of Adjustment and while it might not always work the film does have some good laughs in it. Of course I'm a bit prejudiced with the presence of Anthony Franciosa in the cast, one of the best and most underrated actors around. Jim Hutton also proves to be a good comedian.

I was a bit confused however because the play was written and debuted on Broadway in 1961 where it ran 132 performances. Hutton looks to be a bit young for a veteran just coming from the war and Williams doesn't really date the play as 1953 when the war ended. I'm sure revivals of the play have made appropriate corrections for the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War whatever war as Hutton's character says they're working on starting now.

Part of the problems that Franciosa and Nettleton are facing is that he really didn't love her when he married the richest girl in town, but was looking for a leg up economically and socially. He's made a bad bargain, now having to be under foot and dominated by Nettleton's parents, John McGiver and Mabel Albertson. Turns out though that McGiver made the same kind of bargain back in the day.

I can't forget a very adroit performance by Jack Albertson as a philosophical police sergeant when the whole kit and kaboodle of the cast winds up in front of him on Christmas Day. If they didn't make his Christmas merry, they sure made it interesting. I think Tennessee Williams borrowed from Garson Kanin in My Favorite Wife drawing from Granville Bates's performance as a judge.

Period Of Adjustment is not one of Tennessee Williams better works, but there's still enough of his ideas in the play to satisfy his admirers, even if they are served on the funny side.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird7 / 10

It's a not so wonderful life

Hold Tennessee Williams in very high regard indeed, and although his plays work better performed as filmed productions or television films that doesn't mean that they don't translate well to film. Even when toned down thematically there are good to great film adaptations, 'A Streetcar Named Desire' being the best. Come to think of it, 'Summer and Smoke' is one of the few to not do much for me and that was still watchable because of the incredible lead performance.

'Period of Adjustment' is not one of the best Tennessee Williams film adaptations and may not have the complex characterisations or as mature themes as others. It is a very easy and likeable watch though and is a good adaptation of a lesser known play that is actually one of Williams' most accessible, that it is also one of his most light-hearted for many will work in its favour. The film manages this light-heartedness as well while avoiding over-syruping and still taking the content seriously enough.

It's not perfect. The message could have been delivered with more subtlety, one of the biggest traps often fallen into with messages in film is heavy-handedness which is the case here.

Williams' work can be very melodramatic, 'Period of Adjustment' is no exception and for a play as comparitively light-hearted compared to other work of his as this the melodrama here can get over-heated. George Roy Hill did go on to do better with 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' and 'The Sting', he was an inexperienced director at this point and it can show in some awkward shifts here and there (mostly though all things considered he does pretty well).

However, 'Period of Adjustment' looks great. Especially the photography, which is positively luminous and really enhances the sumptuous production design. The music suits the tone, without too much syrup or bombast. Williams' writing really shines through, it's funny, it's touching and it has the right amount of intensity. The story manages comedy and drama well individually, with the comedy well timed and rarely less than amusing and the drama poignant but never dreary, and balances them with coherence and without imbalance.

A big part of 'Period of Adjustment's' appeal is the cast. A cast against type, her more homely look very different from her usual glamorous image, Lois Nettleton is absolutely sublime and gives to me the film's best performance in a difficult role. Anthony Franciosa is excellent too in a role that actually does him justice, and Jim Hutton does bring charm and adept timing to a character that is very different to Hutton himself, a likeable actor playing an unlikeable character but one one doesn't completely hate. Jane Fonda is the biggest surprise though, am not a fan of her usually but her sparkling performance here is one of her better ones.

Summing up, there are better Tennessee Williams film adaptations but this does justice to an undervalued play. 7/10

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