Picks and Pans Review: Harold Clurman: a Life of Theatre

updated 07/03/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/03/1989 01:00AM

PBS (Mon., July 3, 9 P.M. ET)

B

If you saw last week's splendid documentary on the Group Theatre, you'll enjoy this portrait of one of its founders, director Harold Clurman. In the '50s he directed some of Broadway's biggest hits, such as Bus Stop, Orpheus Descending and The Member of the Wedding. This memoir includes clips from a seminar Clurman gave just before his death in 1980. Leaping from his seat, he tells the audience: "Life is a losing game, so you might as well enjoy it! What an adventure! What fun this flop is!" With all that passion, it's no wonder he drew inspired performances from the likes of Marlon Brando and Kim Stanley. Roy Scheider, Julie Harris and Karl Maiden are among the actors who reminisce about the nurturing experience of working with him. Meryl Streep narrates, using an American accent. Recalls ex-Group member Elia Kazan: "He was his own best creation. You always went away from him feeling three inches taller."

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