The play won the Pulitzer Prize but never really captured a large audience. The Ravetch-Frank screen adaptation did as well as it could with the stage-bound material. Preston is again a larger-than-life character as he was in the THE MUSIC MAN. His performance jars the screen because
everyone else properly underplays for the medium of film under director Mann's hand. It's the saga of an Oklahoma family with several problems. Father Preston temporarily leaves mother McGuire for mistress Angela Lansbury; Shirley Knight is in love with a Jewish boy, Lee Kinsolving, who eventually
commits suicide because he can't take the anti-Semitism he encounters; McGuire's sister A...