Though the film won over many film critics and received nominations for many awards, it was a box office failure. The subject matter, the failure of the American dream , did not appeal to many of the era's moviegoers.  Miller himself denounced the adaptation of his play, claiming the actors all sounded like "Willy Loman with a diploma, fat with their success".  He also claimed that, though he wrote the play cinematically, Benedek managed to "chop off almost every climax of the play as though with a lawnmower" and portray Loman as a lunatic rather than a victim.  
Willy’s strange obsession with the condition of Linda’s stockings foreshadows his later flashback to Biff’s discovery of him and The Woman in their Boston hotel room. The teenage Biff accuses Willy of giving away Linda’s stockings to The Woman. Stockings assume a metaphorical weight as the symbol of betrayal and sexual infidelity. New stockings are important for both Willy’s pride in being financially successful and thus able to provide for his family and for Willy’s ability to ease his guilt about, and suppress the memory of, his betrayal of Linda and Biff.