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December 16, 2010 1:47 PM   Subscribe

In December 1966, ABC 's Stage 67 broadcast a teleplay of Truman Capote's beloved short story, "A Christmas Memory." It won both an Emmy, and Peabody, and was narrated by the author himself. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
posted by timsteil (6 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
We talked about this in AskMe last week. This is a crappy black-and-white recording of a beautifully filmed (on film) color production, which alas languishes without distribution for reasons that nobody quite understands.

So if someone watches this and thinks "Why was this so beloved?" it's partly because it's visually gorgeous, which doesn't come across on this primitive black-and-white capture. (A review of the theatrical release of the Perrys' Capote trilogy talks about the color.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2010

Capote writes in captivating prose full of dreamlike images and emotions. If you liked reading this story (I had to read the Google cache for some reason), you might enjoy his first published novel, "Other Voices, Other Rooms."

Nice post. I am looking forward to watching the play later.
posted by caddis at 2:33 PM on December 16, 2010

You can hear a slightly abridged version, also narrated by Truman Capote on this episode of This American Life
posted by Mchelly at 2:35 PM on December 16, 2010

I have to say that, if the scruffy B&W version is all you can find, watch it anyway.

I'd love for there to be a wonderful Criterion edition restored DVD out there, but watch it for Geraldine Page, for every little facial movement and every wonderful bit of body language she uses to make Sook real, for that voice, and for the terrific supporting cast. Listen for the narration, the sweet score, and the dialogue. It's just...a thing of its own, something magical.

If I had to pick a single piece of writing that I'd been exposed to at a young age that made me realize the indomitable power of words, this could be the one. It's funny, it's wise, it's simple, and yet tells an immense, universal story, and it both breaks your heart and reminds you why you have one, because the world is something to treasure, even if you've never left your own county.

I'm sitting here, writing under a framed, autographed photo of Geraldine Page and Glenn Ford, from the film Dear Heart, and I have thus far had a life that's been rich and complicated and almost ecstatically satisfying, largely because I learned, early on, that sometimes, when you step out on the porch and there's a tang of cold in the air, and a certain winter silence, tinged with the smoky essence of distant fires burning and the scent of dried leaves, you just know.

Oh my, it's fruitcake weather.
posted by sonascope at 3:30 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

I must say I am sorry I missed that AskMe post. though I have never seen the color version, I read the story often, and especially around this time of year. That askme describes almost to a T the way I feel about the story. Sitting here cursing my stupid slow internet trying to watch the b/w version.
posted by timsteil at 3:54 PM on December 16, 2010

This is great. I can't wait to share it with my Capote support group.
posted by The White Hat at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

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