Happy Days
1980, 90 minutes, color

Directed by David Heeley
Produced by Joseph Papp

Winnie: Irene Worth
Willie: George Voskevec

The following synopsis is taken from the Beckett on Film Homepage. For a deeper analysis, you may read Apmonia's "Happy Days" commentary.

Written in English and considered Beckett's most cheerful piece, Happy Days features a woman buried up to her waist in a mound of sand. Winnie's husband, Willie, appears only occasionally from his tunnel behind the mound. Winnie's opening words, "Another heavenly day," set the tone for a long monologue which lasts until she can no longer busy herself with the contents of her enormous handbag. She follows the routine of the day – praying, brushing her teeth, reminiscing about the past and endlessly trying to recall "unforgettable lines" that she has once read. By the end of the second act she is buried up to her neck, but she carries on chattering cheerfully.

Recorded on June 25, 1980, this production of Happy Days was original aired by New York's public television station, Channel Thirteen/WNET, as part of their "Great Performances" series. Apmonia will review this DVD in the near future. Until then, the publisher has this to say:

Suffused with tenderness, lucidity, and humor, Samuel Beckett's Happy Days is a comedy in pure, music-hall style. Legendary three-time Tony Award-winning actress Irene Worth (Lost in Yonkers) stars as Winnie, an optimist who -- deep down -- senses she has little to feel "happy" about, though she never allows a day to pass without looking her best and hoping for better. Worth gives a tour-de-force performance as she chatters incessantly and cheerily on a variety of subjects, portraying Winnie as the embodiment of humankind's nobler virtues: wise, just, majestic, and committed to her conviction that "this will have been a happy day."

Ordering Information

Happy Days
Broadway Theater Archives 1980
Kultur, 2003, DVD, $24.95

Happy Days
Broadway Theater Archives 1980
Kultur, VHS, $24.95

Additional Information

Apmonia "Happy Days" Commentary -- Tim Conley's commentary on Happy Days, online here at Apmonia.

BTA "Happy Days" Page -- The entry for Happy Days at the Broadway Theater Archive homepage.

IMDB "Happy Days" Page -- The entry for Happy Days at the Internet Movie Database.

--Allen B. Ruch
& Tim Conley
6 March 2003

Email Apmonia -- Send email to Tim Conley and the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

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