Death of a Salesman : Summary

Length: 136 Min. Format: 35mm Colour

Premiere: 07.05.1986, Munich (FBW "especially valuable")

Awards:
Golden Globe 1986 (Best Actor in a TV film, Dustin Hoffman)


One the few American classics, the stage play "Death of a Salesman" was written by Arthur Miller at the age of 32 and premiered in 1949. This film version, which was produced for US television, centres on the conflict between the 63-year old travelling salesman Willy Loman (Dustin Hoffman) and his son Biff (John Malkovich). Loman, whose best years have long gone, is a master of repression and the ability to whitewash his life situation. Meanwhile, Biff has never forgiven his father for betraying Biff's mother during one of his trips. In defiance, Biff has neglected his school education and now has to struggle along with occasional jobs. It takes a number of conflicts until father and son arrive at a sort of reconciliation. To help his impoverished family to the money from his life insurance, Willy - who is increasingly drifting off into an illusory world - decides to commit suicide.