Here he is:
We were at the second night of "Streetcar Named Desire" with Brando and Tandy and the rest. And then oddly, a year later, I mean it was on Broadway a year later, we saw "Death of a Salesman." Those two plays -- "Streetcar" and "Salesman" -- stayed with me in that I would refer to them as time and life went on. And more and more to "Salesman" and less and less to "Streetcar," because "Streetcar," after some time, no longer seemed to be about now at all. There are no Blanches anymore, but there are Willys.
Mike Nichols has serious problems. That's obvious by his inability to work consistently with Elaine May. Nichols and May was the big comedy team of the 20th century. They went off in different directions in the 60s. Nichols became a director and did well with "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" and "The Graduate" but bombed with "Catch 22," "Day of the Dolphin," 'The Fortune" and many more. ("Carnal Knoweldge"? Always more of a critical success than a box office one.) And he really didn't have hit films for the 70s and most of the 80s. "Silkwood" was at least a critical hit (and Cher is great in the film). "Working Girl" was his first box office hit of the 89s and that was 1989. It kicked off his most commercial streak. After that, he got "Postcards From The Edge," "Wolf," "Primary Colors" and "The Birdcage." That last one is the biggest film of his career.
"Wolf"? Elaine May did serious script doctoring work. (She also does a voice over with a wake up call to Jack Nicholson.) "Primary Colors"? She wrote the script. Ditto 'The Birdcage."
And all Nichols has had since is one disappointing piece of crap after another. And what do those films of the last 12 years have in common? No Elaine May.
"The Closer" sucked as did "Charlie Wilson's War" and I'm sure his next film with faded box office Julia Roberts will suck as well. No one wants to see these films.
His descent in the last 12 years should have been a clue that something was wrong.
Tennessee Williiams wrote many incredible plays. "A Streetcar Named Desire" may be the best of the best. It's also probably one of the five most important plays of the last century.
So who the hell is Mike Nichols to slag on Williams?
I would put it down to homophobia but rumos about Nichols being gay have always been out there. And marrying Diane Sawyer only made them intensify because she came with her own set of rumors.
Whatever the reason, it was deeply, deeply stupid.
And Willie's a little nothing character. I don't remember Diane Keaton and Woody Allen doing scenes from "Death of a Salesman" in "Sleeper" (they do "Streetcar" with Diane doing Brando).
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"