Thursday, January 7, 2010

Long-lost Teardrop Diamond scarcely sparkles

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 4:19 PM

click to enlarge THE LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND: Bryce Dallas Howard
  • THE LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND: Bryce Dallas Howard

Geology informs us that centuries of subterranean pressure will turn carbon-bearing minerals into diamonds. Tennessee Williams’ long-neglected film script The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond needs to cook another millennium or two before it becomes a gemstone, if the new film adaptation is any indication. A Streetcar Named Desire director Elia Kazan nearly filmed Teardrop Diamond in the late 1950s, but it sunk into obscurity, surfacing only in anthologies of Williams’ lesser-known works. Williams’ only screenplay based on an original story (as opposed to being adapted from his plays), The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond looks like costume jewelry compared to his classics.

If you didn’t know Teardrop Diamond as a Williams work, you’d probably guess almost immediately, given its portrayal of the overripe, class-conscious South in the mid-1920s. Bryce Dallas Howard plays Fisher Willow, a well-educated but erratic heiress to two fortunes. Though she longs for the life of cosmopolitan Europe, Fisher grudgingly agrees to make her debut to please her wealthy aunt (Ann-Margaret) in Memphis. The young flirt in a leopard coat enlists hunky Jimmy Dobyne (Fantastic Four’s Chris Evans) to be her escort. As a governor’s grandson, Jimmy passes muster with the snobs, even though his family has fallen on hard times.

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(Photo Courtesy Paladin)

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