Horton Foote's three trips to Bountiful

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Southern Methodist University Press, 1993 - Drama - 259 pages
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The acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote wrote The Trip to Bountiful for "Philco/Goodyear Television Playhouse" in 1953, during the golden age of live television drama. The teleplay was so successful that an expanded version opened on the Broadway stage eight months later starring the same leading lady, Lillian Gish. Over thirty years later, Foote converted the play into a screenplay that became the vehicle for Geraldine Page's Oscar-winning performance as Carrie Watts, the aging widow who yearns to return to her home-place, to the vanished Texas town of Bountiful. This volume is a comparative media study that collects the three scripts and examines the way Horton Foote's words and vision make the transition from television screen to stage to film. Moore and Yellin show Foote to be a preservationist, making minimal changes as he adjusts for the restrictions of time and technology in each medium. In a general introduction the editors discuss Foote's themes - going away and coming home again, the need for a sense of continuity with the past - and define his typical characters - small-town simple folk who face the knowledge that their straitened lives probably will not improve. Moore and Yellin briefly analyze the differences and similarities among the three versions of the play, demonstrating the necessity for each to meet the demands of a profit-making business. Preceding each script the editors discuss the circumstances surrounding the production - the technical and aesthetic limitations influencing and shaping the performance. This volume also includes four interviews - with Horton Foote; with the film's co-producer, Sterling VanWagenen; with Peter Masterson, itsdirector; and with Carlin Glynn, who played the supporting role of Jessie Mae in the film. What ultimately emerges from the discussion of the three versions is a glimpse into the way a writer can function within the structure of the

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Contents

The Trip to Bountiful
30
The Trip to Bountiful
72
The Trip to Bountiful
146
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Horton Foote was born in Wharton, Texas on March 14, 1916. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California for two years before going to New York and joining Mary Hunter's American Actors Company. While there, he wrote a one-act play called Wharton Dance. After that, he continued to pursue acting and appeared in a few other plays, but primarily focused on writing. After World War II, he moved to Washington D. C. to run the King Smith School with Vincent Donehue. While he was there, he opened the King Smith Theater to all races, the first integrated audiences in the nation's capital. In addition to plays, he wrote for television and film. He was one of the writers for The Gabby Hayes Show on NBC. He wrote numerous plays including The Chase, The Carpetbagger's Children, and The Orphans' Home. He wrote numerous screenplays for movies including Baby, the Rain Must Fall and The Trip to Bountiful. He won the Pulitzer Prize for The Young Man from Atlanta and two Academy Awards for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. He died on March 4, 2009 at the age of 92.

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