It is rare for a film to improve upon the book or play on which the movie is based, but this movie is just such an accomplishment!
The movie depends upon a fuller and more natural portrayal of the characters both to engage the audience and to establish the pertinent social dynamics, and the movie is thereby able to forego resorting to surrealism to hammer home a thematic point.
The movie modernizes the setting so that it can concentrate on more timeless and more personal concerns, and the movie thereby can be rid of characters' expounding in near soliloquy about themselves or dated political viewpoints, as happens in the original play.
But, these improvements aside, what makes this movie a genuine work of art in its own right is the powerful looming of William Bendix and the grace and beauty of Susan Hayward.
Seeming to lack any civility whatsoever while energizing everything around him, Bendix's character appears to be more beast than human. That is until he encounters Susan Hayward in what has to be one of the most striking scenes in all of movie history -- a scene in which all of the world's energy seems to dissipate for a literally breath-taking moment.