Happy Birthday William Inge!

Today is the birthday of the late, great, American playwright William Inge, born in Independence, Kansas in 1913, who rose to fame with searing 1950s dramas such as Come Back Little Sheba, Bus Stop, The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs, the wonderful original screenplay to Splendor In The Grass and my personal favorite Picnic.

Picnic also has the sexiest, most romantic dance in movie history between Kim Novak and William Holden, which I included here. Inge was a truly unhappy man who took his own life in 1973, and his portraits of lonely frustrated spinsters and sexually panicked youth seem rather dated now. But there are moments of poetry and genius in his writing that glow as brightly as the colored lanterns in this sublime scene from the 1965 film version of Picnic.

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