A Modern Casting of The Bear, A Joke in One Act

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Anton Chekhov was a Russian playwright who lived in the late 1800s. He wrote a comedy entitled The Bear, A Joke in One Act. This drama is about a man and woman who initially despise each other, but fall in love late in the play. Mrs. Popov is a widow who is unrealistically grieving over the loss of her husband. The leading male character in the play is Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov, a quick-tempered man who is looking to collect money that Mrs. Popov’s late husband owed him. Luka is Mrs. Popov’s footman, who also plays an important part in the play. Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock, and Michael Caine would be great fits to play the three main characters of The Bear if the play were to be presented in its original form.

Harrison Ford would be a great choice to play the part of Grigory Stepanovich Smirnov. One of the first traits that the reader notices about Smirnov is his quick temper and vulgar dialogue; these qualities match up well with one of Harrison Ford’s previous roles. Ford played Han Solo in the Star Wars series. Ford’s experience in playing a character who is easily angered would make Smirnov’s actions much more believable; an example of this is the scene in which Smirnov breaks Mrs. Popov’s chair (speech 69 S.D.). Ford would be able to reproduce Smirnov’s anger well and also keep the action comical. In addition to presenting Smirnov’s actions well, Ford would also succeed in presenting the dialogue of Smirnov. For example, When Smirnov states, “You idiot, you talk too much. . . . Ass!” (Speech 18), Ford has the experience to succeed in the presentation of this line. One of Ford’s lines in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back shows how Ford would present this line from The Bear; Ford, as Han Solo, says, “Then I’ll ...

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... play, The Bear, A Joke in One Act. Harrison ford is a great fit to play the older, quick-tempered man, Grigory Smirnov. Sandra Bullock is an excellent choice to play Mrs. Popov, the depressed widow. Finally, Michael Caine is a good choice to play Mrs. Popov’s servant named Luka. These actors all have the experience to properly portray the three complex characters of Chekhov’s play.

Works Cited

Batman Begins. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros. , 2005. DVD.

Chekhov, Anton. The Bear, A Joke in One Act. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. 9th ed. New York: Longman, 2009. 1582- 1590. Print.

The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros. , 2008. DVD.

The Proposal. Dir. Anne Fletcher. Touchstone Pictures, 2009. DVD.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Dir. George Lucas. 20th Century Fox, 1980. Film.
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