Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »
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Edward L. Cahn
Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving daughter (Lavinia). But Lavinia's ex-suitor, Adam Brant, has become Christine's lover, and together Adam and Christine plot to poison Ezra. When they succeed, Lavinia turns to her brother Orin to help bring the lovers to justice, but when they succeed, Orin goes mad and his suicide note may come between Lavinia and her new suitor, Peter Niles. Written by
The original Broadway production of "Mourning Becomes Electra" by Eugene O'Neill opened at the Guild Theater on October 26, 1931, ran for 150 performances and was revived in 1932 and 1972. See more »
About 22 minutes into the film, Orin is standing by a bench where Lavinia is seated. He holds his hat by his side and he drops it....it just lies there on the dirt path as he sits down and he doesn't pick it up. See more »
I caught this film on TCM about six months ago and recorded it on my DVR. I loved it! "Mourning Becomes Electra" made in 1947, is long, at just about three hours. At first glance, Rosalind Russell (at age 40) is a bit long in the tooth to play Lavinia; but once you get past that, she is quite good in the part. The scenes between Russell and Katina Paxinou (playing Russell's mother, Christine) were mesmerizing. Michael Redgrave (playing the son Orrin) is a bit stiff in the first part of the movie, but once he goes "crazy" with guilt in the last part, he is brilliant. Raymond Massey, playing the father, is in the film only a short time, but is memorable as Ezra, the war weary husband to Christine. A young Kirk Douglas is good too as Lavina's suitor. This film has it all - murder, greed, dark family secrets, revenge, lust. It is too bad this film is sadly forgotten. It flopped when it opened in 1947 - probably too long and involved for audiences a that time. And too bad Rosalind Russell did not win the Oscar for it - what an injustice. Russell had been considered the favorite to win, but a long shot nominee, Loretta Young won for "The Farmer's Daughter" a far lesser film than this one, in my opinion.
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