Although there are a few defects in this production of the thirty-year-old play by James Thurber and Elliott Nugent - the American atmosphere is never too convincing - it remains in the memory as an effective production of a fine, quietly provocative comedy. Anthony Perkins, in his British television debut, is just right as the doggedly determined, understatedly idealistic teacher who wants to read a letter to his Creative Writing class - a letter written by Bartolomeo Vanzetti on the eve of execution. His idea is simply to show the eloquence of an uneducated person, but soon, our hero finds himself confronted by prejudice, cowardice and bullying. Surprisingly, the play is more moving than funny - its caustic view of reactionary bigotry still holds true today.moreless
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