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A Life in the Theater (TV) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jack Lemmon, Matthew Broderick

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Life in the Theater (TV)


In this 78-minute teleplay by David Mamet, Lemmon is an aging vet of the stage named John and Broderick a young up-and-comer named Robert. We see them in the dressing room, in bars and cafes, in a bookstore, and in rehearsal -- John usually holding forth pompously and subtle undermining Robert, and Robert listening respectfully but occasionally getting irritated. The comedy comes in scenes from the various plays in their repertory (all made up by Mamet, as far as I can tell): a hammy World War I bit in the trenches, a Restoration comedy, a chilly Russian play, a Civil War (Rebel plantation) scene, a judge's chambers, the French Revolution (the last three are the best). Props are mislaid, lines fluffed, Robert struggles to stay poised on a busted chair. Although a number of other people have walk-ons and occasional lines, this is essentially a two-man play that has been "opened up" very little -- for brief scenes in a cemetery, a bar, a bookstore, the pair's respective quarters. Mamet's signature staccato dialogue is the third character -- with repetitions, interruptions, contradictions, fragments. It's realistic, but can also sound mannered. Lemmon would do a dozen more features and other TV work after this quiet 1993 charmer, but it's as good a valedictory as Oprah's "Tuesdays with Morrie" six years later: "The lights dim. Each to his own home. Good night. Good night...."
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus



Script Analysis of A Life in the Theater (TV)

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   actor

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American

Setting

United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   theater

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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