Theatrical sparks flew when veteran Eugene O'Neill interpreters Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst joined forces in the celebrated 1973 revival of O'Neill's tender semi-autobiographical ...
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Theatrical sparks flew when veteran Eugene O'Neill interpreters Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst joined forces in the celebrated 1973 revival of O'Neill's tender semi-autobiographical drama. In a towering performance, the great Robards portrays a cynical, self-hating alcoholic actor based on O'Neill's elder brother, Jamie. The majestic Colleen Dewhurst plays the earthy, gruff daughter of his scheming Irish tenant farmer (Ed Flanders), with whom the failed actor spends a soul-baring night of guilt-ridden confessions, tenderness, and absolution. Both Dewhurst and Flanders won Tony Awards for their performances. Written by
Written in 1943, it took "A Moon for the Misbegotten" over 30 years to find its place as one of the most important works in the Eugene O'Neill canon. First produced on Broadway in 1958, the play was originally dismissed as second-rate O'Neill. It took the powerhouse 1974 revival directed by Jose Quintero and starring Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst and Ed Flanders to finally earn O'Neill's painful reminiscence about his brother Jamie, unforgettably introduced to audiences in "Long Days Journey Into Night," the deserved accolade of "masterpiece." The story is incidental: dirt farmers Josie and her father attempt to dupe their alcoholic landlord James Tyrone, Jr. into spending the night with Josie in the hopes of initiating a vague stab at retaliation against a scheme that Tyrone has hatched against him. But when the drunken lessor shows up for the assignation, what unfolds is a series of jolting revelations that leaves all of the characters - and the audience - emotionally spent, with only a lingering sense of compassion haunting their well-traveled spirits.
This DVD is the ABC television production of this landmark theatrical event, and admirers of great acting can only be thankful that the production was preserved on video. The performances of Jason Robards, repeating the role he created in the original Broadway production and film of "Long Day's Journey"; Ed Flanders, who received both the Tony Award for the Broadway production and the Emmy for the television presentation; and most especially Colleen Dewhurst, who is magnificent in her Tony Award-winning role as Josie, all offer such brilliantly moving performances that the memory of them will linger long after the final credits unspool.
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