Arthur Miller Movies & TV
If your teacher hasn't already made you watch this in class, bump it to the top of your Netflix queue—it's a compelling adaptation of one of Miller's best-known plays. Warning: You may find yourself more haunted by an imprisoned Daniel Day Lewis's unbrushed teeth than by Judge Danforth's perversions of justice.
A 1951 film by Hungarian director Laslo Benedek was the first adaptation of Miller's classic play, but this made-for-TV production counts as our favorite. Dustin Hoffman stars as Willy Loman and John Malkovich plays his son Biff. Both men won Emmys for their roles. After this movie Hoffman went on to play an autistic person in "Rain Man," and John Malkovich went on to be fantastically creepy in everything else.
Miller wrote the screenplay for this film, directed by John Huston and starring his wife Marilyn Monroe. Though now a classic, the film was beset with problems during its making, from Huston's drinking and gambling habit to Monroe's drug dependency and fraying marriage. It was the final film for leading man Clark Gable, who died 12 days after filming ended, as well as for Monroe, who died of a drug overdose a year and a half later.
Miller wrote the screenplay for this made-for-TV adaptation of the autobiography of Fania Fenelon, a Jewish musician who survived Auschwitz by playing the violin for her Nazi guards. The movie was well-received by many people but not by Fenelon, who hated Vanessa Redgrave's portrayal of her. She said that she had wanted to be played by Liza Minnelli. You can make your own call about who would have done the better job.
It's a good thing Miller didn't like critics—this film (whose screenplay he wrote) bombed upon release. Nick Nolte and Debra Winger star in this story of a mysteriously murdered doctor, the private investigator on the case, and the crazy lady who insists she knows who really did it.
This documentary from the PBS American Masters series chronicles the careers of Arthur Miller and director Elia Kazan. It focuses on the men's very different responses to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Their long friendship dissolved in the toxic stew of the anticommunist witch hunt, though some speculate that their shared desire for Marilyn Monroe also played a part in their split.