Long Day’s Journey Into Night

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At the end of a long and hot summer day, members of one family gather in a large house. Everyone has something painful and offensive to say, and their silence is even worse. The Most Shattering…Shocking Journey the Screen Ever Took Into the Human Soul!

ACTORS :  Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1962

POSTAGE : Free postage within Australia

 

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night  Over the course of one day in August 1912, the family of retired actor James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of his wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund and the alcoholism and debauchery of their older son Jamie. As day turns into night, guilt, anger, despair, and regret threaten to destroy the family.

One of the best filmed plays in movie history

Long Day’s Journey Into Night  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.

A great film adaptation

 

Although this film retains the feel of a stage production, this seems to heighten the tension and emphasize how amazing these performances really are.

I’ve always felt that the play is well-suited to being filmed in black and white. The lack of color seems to bring out even more of the dreary agony that the characters are going through, as well as making the fog seem even more dismal and real.

Because O’Neill’s play is apparently autobiographical, the suffering is amplified intensely. This film is a fantastic drama–but because of the length (around 3 hours) and the anguish that the characters go through, you need to be sure you’re in the right mood before you sit down to watch it.

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