An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling. His buxom widow Serafina miscarries, then over a period ... See full summary »
All My Sons tells the story of Joe Keller, a successful, middle-aged, self-made man who has done a terrible and tragic thing. He framed his business partner for a crime and engineered his own exoneration. Now, his son is about to marry the partner's daughter, the affair is revisited, and his lie of a life is unraveled. Written by
The original Broadway production of "All My Sons" opened at the Coronet Theater in New York on January 29, 1947, ran for 328 performances and won the 1947 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play for the author Arthur Miller. His original script was used as the basis for the screen play for the movie version. See more »
When Joe comes out of the house upon Annie's arrival, he comes down the front steps and walks into the yard with his arms raised. In the next instant, he's back at the steps and his arms are down. See more »
Put her to bed, Joe. Both of you go to bed. Staying up won't help; sleep will. Sleep's a wonderful thing, the best thing about living.
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All My Sons was Arthur Miller's second produced play and first commercial success winning Tony Awards for Best play, a Tony for stage director Elia Kazan and a run of 347 performances for the year of 1947. But when the film version was made the following year the House Un- American Activities Committee was taking a long hard look at All My Sons and all who were associated with it.
Universal Studios which produced the film version did more than just expand a play that had a one set setting on stage, that set being the backyard of the Keller family. A whole lot of references to the capitalist system built on greed and the notion of anything for a profit were carefully eliminated. Miller's protagonist Joe Keller becomes a monstrous aberation as opposed to a symbol. That being said the adaption by Chester Erskine is still a fine drama with the polemics trimmed.
Taking over from Ed Begley who did the role on stage is Edward G. Robinson as Joe Keller the owner of a factory which had shipped some bad engine parts for airplanes and caused the crash of several of them. Robinson managed to skate responsibility and the blame fell on his partner Frank Conroy who is now in prison. Incidentally one of the changes is that on stage Conroy's character is never seen only talked about. Here Burt Lancaster as Robinson's surviving son has a new scene with Conroy visiting him in prison to learn the truth about his father as doubts of his innocence have crept into his mind.
The House UnAmerican Activities Committee was all over this work in their glory days of 1948. Arthur Miller was blacklisted, so was Mady Christians who played Mrs. Keller. Elia Kazan as we know turned friendly witness for the hounds of HUAC and Edward G. Robinson in the Fifties was what was termed 'gray listed'. Not forbidden to work per se, but studios were not giving A budget work any more and wouldn't until Cecil B. DeMille hired him for The Ten Commandments.
In the end Robinson has to take responsibility for what he did and he does it in the most dramatic way possible. Aficionados of Arthur Miller's work will note the similarities between the Keller and the Loman families in Miller's next production Death Of A Salesman.
Possibly one day we'll get another film version that is more true to what Arthur Miller had in mind. This will due until that happens.
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