The 4th Annual Broadway Bound Blogathon – The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975)

This is part of The 4th Annual Broadway Bound Blogathon being hosted by Rebecca of Taking Up Room.

Tnx for letting me partake Rebecca!

“I’ve been here for three hours Harry… so far I got poison ivy, got chewed up by gnats, laid down in manuare, and your dog piddled all over my car… so I haven’t really had a lot of time for rural ecstasy.” – Mel

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Jun 2021)

Brief Synopsis – A businessman suffers a nervous breakdown after getting fired from his job and his wife and brother try to help him through this difficult time.

My Take on it – Hilarious Neil Simon play adaptation for the screen.

Jack Lemmon plays the lead character perfectly and make the viewer truly believe his rantings and raving after everything seems to be going downhill for him.

The way that his wife and brother stick by him during these troubled times is great to see and both Anne Bancroft and Gene Sacks helps keep things both fun and poignant the whole way through.

As with most Simon scripts, the dialogue is sub;lime and the delivery by this cast helps keep things so engaging and entertaining from start to finish.

The film does a wonderful job mixing together physical and verbal comedy which enhances things so much along the way.

The adaptation of this play to the screen is done in a minimalistic way because most of the scenes take place withing rooms, but they do give some of the scenes a more open atmosphere whether they take place on a patio/balcony or in a garden and that also adds to things.


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to the Jack Lemmon’s biography “Lemmon” by Don Widener, actress Anne Bancroft recounted this episode from the film’s shooting: “[Jack was] nice to a point where he’s crazy…We had a scene in ‘Prisoner [of Second Avenue’] where he had to carry a shovel in – a very close two-shot favoring me. I played the scene with tears in my eyes because Jack had accidentally hit me in the shin with that shovel. The director saw something was wrong so he stopped everything. I had a big bump on my leg, but it was Friday and over the weekend I fixed it up. When we came back on Monday the first scene was a retake of the shovel thing. Well, Jack brought the shovel in and I anticipated getting hit again. He’s so full of energy, you’re sure he’s not noticing; but he never touched me. The take was fine, but Jack limped away. To avoid hurting me, he had cut himself. He was bleeding and we had to bandage his leg; his wound was much worse than mine. He is so kind he hurt himself rather than injure someone else. That’s a little crazy! It’s the nicest crazy I know, and I know a lot of crazy people.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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