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
Although billed 9th in the credits, actress Sara Allgood appears only in one scene and does not have one single line of dialogue. 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 have seen this movie in bits and pieces over the years and therefore had seen the entire film before. But not all at once. Tonight I did. For those who know the original ancient Greek plays that this was taken from, it enhances the modernizing that Eugene O'Neill did with his treatise. It is, in and of itself, a brilliant literary work. This story, whether in the old Greek, or the 20th century version (the writing of it), is a daunting tale to tell for any actor. For my tastes, the women in this film were over the top. Fine actresses both, Katrina Paxinou as Christine the mother, and Rosalind Russell as Lavinia the daughter (or Electra), they perhaps could have used the help of a better director. The men were all fine. Though Raymond Massey's greatest contribution was his wonderful movie presence. But to watch Michael Redgrave's amazing performance was worth every other flaw. He took a part that was, indeed, full of words, and made them flow so naturally from his mouth, that I believed people DID speak that way. And with that wonderful naturalness, he achieved such depth of emotion! Love, anger, fear, hatred, and guilt to the point of paranoia and virtual insanity. I have seen other movies of his, and have always understood, simply enough, how his progeny became such fine actors. Sir Michael Redgrave was an actor that could bury himself in any part. But I saw this performance, just now, as if for the first time. So real, so believable, so brilliant.
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