Tennessee Williams's Long Lost Screenplay, Now With 100% More Chris Evans!


Do you know how Tennessee Williams died? He choked on an eyedrop bottle cap. True story. It was February 24, 1983, and he was staying at the Hotel Elysee. He had a habit of opening the bottle, placing the cap between his teeth, then leaning back and placing a drop in each eye. Only this time, the cap fell into the back of his throat and got stuck there, blocking him windpipe and killing him. His body was found the next morning; he was 71. I bring this up because one, it's sad and interesting, but also because we are soon to receive a rare new Williams work from beyond the grave -- and one that chillingly has the word "teardrop" is in the title.

Williams was a prolific writer when he was around, having left us with seventy plays, two novels, five short story collections, and two volumes of poems. He also wrote a screenplay, it turns out, which was to be his third collaboration with director Elia Kazan, but ended up being "lost." (Read: tossed into a fireplace.) The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond was rediscovered, and made into a feature in 2008, directed by Jodie Markell -- an actress best known for playing recurring character on Big Love -- with Bryce Dallas Howard (who replaced Lindsay Lohan...now that would have been hilarious) and Chris Evans as lovebirds from the wrong side on the tracks. U.S. distributors Paladin are releasing it December 30th in LA and New York, and gave ComingSoon.net a trailer exclusive.

It seems that like the arresting poster, they're going for a similar vintage throwback feel with the trailer...all the way back to a time when a narrator talks way too much. This looks pretty dreadful, but earns definite bonus points with Ann-Margret as the stuffy, loaded Aunt Cornelia who lends Bryce the titular earring that eventually goes missing. The main problem: There's nowhere near enough lust in it. Less bad Southern accents, more horny sexpots, alcoholic tornadoes and suppressed homosexuality, please. This is Tennessee Williams we're talking about, and not some toothless Nicholas Sparks-wannabe, is it not? This trailer needs a drastic re-cut.


  • Kenneth Holditch says:

    The story about the bottle cap is apocryphan. In fact, Tennessee died from a toxic accidental mix of prescription medications and wine.

  • John Uecker says:

    Actually the official and singular cause of death brought forth in the final autopsy report was seconal intolerance. There was no drug and/or alcohol mix much as the press wanted there to be. And no mention of any bottle or bottle top. Due to exhaustion and physical complications he had become intolerant to almost everything. He had lost a lot of weight, was unable to digest properly and had not been able to eat at all well. He had also been beaten down if not ignored by the theatrical and critical establishments. He became very tired and had no fight left. He was extremely lucid over the last several months of his life. It is correct that there was no bottle top swallowed or accident of that nature.

  • Ian McGrady says:

    Let's hope this helps critics, including the people who administrate Williams' work, get over the prejudice they share with his critics about Williams' later works. Structurally he was always ahead of his time, and it took Kazan a long time to understand Streetcar... and that's WITH TW holding his hand by corresponding with him and explainin' it.
    Anyone know what year this play was originally writ?

  • Daft Clown says:

    That trailer's font is brought to you by the makers of the Jitterbug senior cell phone. It's fucking ginormous.

  • Scott Kenan says:

    When the coroner, Elliot Gross, filed his original report on Tennessee's death, he lied to keep the press from drawing sensational but false conclusions. Gross quietly corrected his report six months later, and also acknowledged that it would have been physically impossible for the medicine bottle cap to block Tennessee's air passage. Anyone interested in fact checking can find this in the public record in a nanosecond by simply googling. But generally not in press reports, blogs, or other places of popular discourse. Other misconceptions about Tennessee, his life, and his work will be dispelled when Williams scholar Kenneth Holditch's TW bio and my TW memoir are released next year.

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