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The Rose Tattoo

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Nominated for eight Oscars, the most optimistic of Tennessee Williams’ screen adaptations now comes across as dated. Though Magnani’s bravura performance, as a proud Sicilian seamstress who retreats from life after her beloved husband dies, speaks for itself, the film’s sketchily developed supporting characters and obvious stage origins (overt symbolism, tonally disparate first and second acts) hold up less convincingly. Particularly ill at ease is Lancaster, who gawks, flaps, and guffaws his way through the film’s second half. A truck driver with the ”head of a clown” on a heroic body, his overly hammy Alvaro is an unconvincing match for Magnani’s earthy and robust widow.

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