On a day in the summer of 1912, the family of retired matinee idol James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of Tyrone's wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund, and the...
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On a day in the summer of 1912, the family of retired matinee idol James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of Tyrone's wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund, and the alcoholism and debauchery of the older son Jamie. As day turns into night, guilt, anger, despair, and regret threaten to destroy the family. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The Broadway play by Eugene O'Neill opened at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York on November 7, 1956, ran for 390 performances and won the 1957 Tony Award for the Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1957. See more »
Eugene O'Neill was one of America's greatest writers and this play comes at the end of his long career. LDJIN is the most autobiographical of his plays, and it is significant that he didn't write from his own experience until the end of his life, when he could understand it.
But a play isn't necessarily good just because it is written from the author's experience, it takes imagination too, and O'Neill has it, and it is imagination that helps O'Neill forgive his stingy and tyrannical old father. Olivier is great as the father, at once authoritative and poignant, regretting the waste of his talent, and Chapman, Pickup and Quilley are all fine as his enslaved family.
I first saw this production when I was 16 and I have never forgotten it. It's slow and wordy, but if you stick with it it has a humanity and compassion that set it far above most plays of the twentieth century.
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