September 27, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s a shame that post-’50s Tennessee Williams film adaptations depended so often on the kindness of strangers. Summer and Smoke has a screenplay by James Poe and Meade Roberts, in whose hands Williams’ uneven, delicate portrait of an aging spinster (Geraldine Page) becomes absurdly inflated melodrama. It doesn’t help that Laurence Harvey, as the object of Page’s frustrated affections, looks so disconnected he drains all motivational logic from her performance — a problem magnified by this letterboxed disc, which repeatedly shows Harvey and Page at opposite ends of a wide-screen image. C-

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