Great Performances

Season 26 Episode 16

Sam Shepard's True West

Aired Unknown Jul 08, 1998 on PBS
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sam Shepard's True West
A production of the play, "True West," written by Sam Shepard is performed.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • The Steppenwolf production of Sam Shepard's play.

    This production, originally aired as part of the American Playhouse series, originated at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and then transfered Off-Broadway for a long run. Featuring Steppenwolf Ensemble members John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, it exemplifies the "rock-and-roll" style of theatre that they put forth in the 1980's, and which rocketed so many of their troupe to stardom. Intense violence and agressive physicality highlight both of their performances. The highly theatrical performance isn't really suited to the intimacy of your living room, but it is a fine document of one of Shepard's most popular plays. I don't think it is his best - Buried Child and A Lie of the Mind both are superior, and I prefered Jeff Perry in the Sinise role in the original staging.moreless
  • Video quality low (but expected for the year it was made) but I still remember this pivotal performance!

    I was awake between 3 and 5 AM, talking to my boyfriend and flipping channels when I came upon this gem. He also turned it on and we watched it together while on the phone for the rest of the night. This play, though the video quality was bad, was fun to watch on the screen - and even better for *me* since I love John Malkovich, and also like Gary Sinise. The play itself (writing wise) is hilarious anyway - and then you put John & Gary together, and it gets even better! "I know what you need! Some toast!" became a reminiscent line ever since then - and I was about 19 when I saw this (I'm 26 now). In fact, about 10 minutes ago I said that line to my current fiance's (not the same person as the aforementioned boyfriend) friend.

    The lighting and set were both close, homey, and very realistic. It really put you in the situation as well as the mood. The performances stood out, especially Gary's as he got drunker as the play went on.

    This one sticks out in my memory and probably will for a long while! :)moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions