A pretty hospital night nurse (Jane Fonda) says "I do" to the Korean War vet (Jim Hutton) under her care. Within moments she wonders what she's done. Ralph (Tony Franciosa) wed for money five years ago but has grown to love his bride (Lois Nettleton). Except she just walked out on him. Y'all linger and look on as these pairs go through a Period of Adjustment. This splintered-souls romantic comedy from an unexpected source is very much a movie of firsts: Tennessee Williams' first comedy, director George Roy Hill's first feature, Nettleton's big-screen debut and a personal period of adjustment for Fonda, the filmmaking experience that made her realize she could master the elusive craft of creating a character on film.
George Roy Hill's first film, an adaptation of one of Tennessee Williams's rare comedies, stars Jim Hutton and Jane Fonda as newlyweds George and Isabel Haverstick. A Korean War veteran hospitalized for a nervous disorder induced by combat, George marries his nurse, Isabel, a sweet southern belle. However, when Isabel realizes that George has decided to quit his job, that his "station wagon" is actually a hearse, and that they have to spend their wedding night in a fleabag motel, the honeymoon begins to go sour. To cap it off, George's trauma has given him performance anxiety, causing him to fall asleep, drunk, on the big night. The next day, George and his disappointed bride head for Tennessee to visit his old friend Ralph Baitz (Anthony Franciosa), who is having his own maritial problems. He married his wife, Dorothea (Lois Nettleton), strictly for her money, and now he can't convince her that he's fallen in love with her. But he's fed up with working for his wealthy in-laws, and decides to leave their family business. Despite subsequent changes in sexual politics, PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT remains a charming film, as Williams limns the problems of men and women trying to undertand one another with humor and tenderness. Franciosa and Nettleton are particularly affecting as the couple who might break up.
Tennessee Williams displays his comic side in this story about two couples and their respective marital problems. The newly married Javersticks are having trouble consummating their marriage, so they descend upon the groom's old war buddy only to find that his wife has just walked out on him.
Theatrical release: October 31, 1962.
George Roy Hill was chosen by Tennesse Williams to direct the stage version on Broadway, after Elia Kazan dropped out.
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