Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

Posted By: Someonelse
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)
A Film by Sidney Lumet
DVD9 | ISO+MDS | NTSC 4:3 (720x480) | 02:49:59 | 7,59 Gb
Audio: English AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subs: None
Genre: Drama | Nominated for Oscar | USA

Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother who is emotionally unstable and a misfit. The family is reflected by the youngest son, who is a sensitive and aspiring writer.

IMDB
DVDBeaver

Directed by five time Best Director Oscar nominee Sidney Lumet, and written by Eugene O'Neill, this "play" features some of Katharine Hepburn's best acting, for which she received her ninth of twelve Best Actress nominations. However, to fail to mention the other three fine performances by the cast's veteran male actors Ralph Richardson (The Heiress (1949)), double Supporting Actor Oscar winner Jason Robards Jr., and Dean Stockwell (Married to the Mob (1988)) would be to do an injustice to the outstanding performances all around. A powerful exposition of acting skills, if much too depressing to be viewed without some detachment (much more so than even Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)). Though I recommend both, neither are for everyone's tastes.

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

The Tyrone family is a dysfunctional one, not the least of which is the matriarch's (Hepburn) drug addiction. Her ex-Shakespearean actor husband James (Richardson) is a rather insensitive miser who failed to adequately praise his wannabe actor eldest son Jamie (Robards Jr.), such that he's an alcoholic failure. The couple's other son is the disease weakened, favorite son Edmund (Stockwell), who struggles to learn his family's secret truths, all of which are revealed (e.g. how the family got to where they are now) during the course of this near three hour film. The story is told through a series of scenes, much like a play, in which each character gets to spend at least some time alone with each other character. There are also scenes featuring each parent and their two sons together. The film begins curiously, and outdoors, as each of the male characters "walk on egg shells" trying to keep Hepburn's from going on a morphine binge. Of course, they fail and the root causes of all the family's members problems come to light, one by one.
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

I just caught an interview with Sam Shephard on Fresh Air where he mentions that this movie was one of the reasons he got interested in the theater. He talked about the great performances of Jason Robards, Ralph Richardson, Dean Stockwell, and Katherine Hepburn. My memory of the movie goes back to the late 60's in Berkeley when I had just seen a performance of the play by the Berkeley Rep and then watched the film shortly thereafter in an on campus showing. I, too, was blown away by these performances. In my mind, they rank up there with the very best in the history of film as an ensemble piece of acting. The direction by Sidney Lumet was outstanding and the screenplay remained true to the original play which has never been a common practice in Hollywood. Perhaps these characters resemble members of my family a little too much but they have not been forgotten in the 30 plus years since I last saw the film.
IMDB Reviewer
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

O'Neill's greatest play is brought to the screen with an overpowering wealth of talent: Hepburn, Richardson, and Robards give magnificent, once-in-a-lifetime performances as members of the doomed Tyrone family. The playwright described his autobiographical work as "a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood."

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

The setting is one long, long day and night in the year 1912 at the Tyrone summer home in New London, Connecticut. The stingy senior Tyrone, James (Richardson), an impoverished youth turned fine Shakespearean actor, has spent years playing the same role over and over again in a commercial play simply for the money. His wife Mary (Hepburn) has just returned from a sanitarium. She is all lady, an Irish Catholic with strong moral principles, but she is also strangely withdrawn, partly as a result of the drug addiction which began when she was treated by cheap quack doctors. Elder son Jamie (Robards) has attempted to follow his father into the acting profession but, failing miserably, takes solace in drink, becoming a cynic who would rather destroy all around him than show his true feelings. Younger son Edmund (Stockwell), a budding writer, is recovering from tuberculosis and has spent time in a second-rate institution that his tightwad father sent him to in order to save money. As the day wears on, painful truths and long-buried resentments overwhelm them all.

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

Of the cast, Hepburn takes it. Where she takes it is in her transistion points, from girlish coquette remembering her apple-blossom youth to maddened dope fiend, from loving mother to mindless creature groping for identity. This is where Hepburn departed once and for all from delicious comedienne into legendary tragedienne. Richardson's performance is just right: his spareness as an actor incredibly personifies a miser. For once the camera captures Robards's wildness, his lunging danger, before alcohol crabbed him into permanent grit. There's nothing wrong with Stockwell's performance. It's just that we know he's O'Neill, a heavy task for a young actor. Obviously, it's a part for an older performer who looks younger. We can't help but brood that Montgomery Clift was too prematurely old and ruined for the role.

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

The screen version followed the superb play almost word for word. According to O'Neill's will, the play was not to be produced until 25 years after his death in 1951, but his widow, Carlotta, only waited until 1956 to let it be staged with Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Robards and Bradford Dillman.
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)


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