It’s finally revealed why Biff L oman (Kevin McCarthy) passed up his football scholarship and turned his back on success years earlier: he had caught his father Willy (Fredric March) having an affair, and began to regard his father as a contemptible phony. Biff had shunned wealth and success ever since, as a way of punishing Willy.
Willy and Biff finally reconcile, and express their love for each other. But just when it appears there’s hope for the family, Willy’s delusions and dreams of success return, and he decides to kill himself in a car crash, in the vain hope that Biff can collect the life insurance money and use it to become the rich businessman Willy always wanted him to be.
Willy’s grieving family gathers at his gravesite. His friend Charlie tries to explain that, in a lonely career like sales, a man is forced to live on dreams. Willy’s son Happy remains convinced that Willy was absolutely right to pursue the American Dream of wealth, and vows to follow his father’s example. Biff sadly insists that his father just didn’t know who he was, and vows not to be like Willy.
Willy’s widow Linda merely weeps, and can’t understand at all why Willy did what he did.
Thanks John L!