In this experimental play, first produced in 1928, Eugene O'Neill bares the inner souls of his characters by having them speak their thoughts as well as their dialog. Nins Leeds, the ... See full summary »
In this experimental play, first produced in 1928, Eugene O'Neill bares the inner souls of his characters by having them speak their thoughts as well as their dialog. Nins Leeds, the daughter of an Ivy League professor, is devastated by the loss of her fiance in World War I. Ignoring the unconditional love of the novelist Charlie Marsden, she rebounds by marrying an amiable fool, Sam Evans, in the hope that a child will give meaning to the marriage. Nina is thus devastated when she learns a secret know only to Sam's mother- insanity runs in the family and could be inherited by any child of Sam's. At the mother's behest, Nina decides on a "scientific" solution; she will conceive a child with the physician Ned Darrell and let Sam believe he is the father. The plan backfires when the intimacy between Nina and Darrell results in their falling passionately in love. Twenty years later, only Nina and Darrell know the true parentage of young Gordon Evans, just reaching manhood. Written by
The original Broadway production of "Strange Interlude" by Eugene O'Neill opened on January 30, 1928 at the John Golden Theatre, ran for 426 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1928. This film production is based upon a revival that opened February 21, 1985 at the Nederlander Theatre and ran for 63 performances. Glenda Jackson was nominated for the 1985 Tony Award for Actress in a Drama that revival and recreated her role in this filmed production as did Edward Petherbridge. See more »
This is one of Eugene O'Neill's most fascinating plays, and must have packed a real wallop when it was first staged (as a two-part work) in 1928. O'Neill has the characters speak their inner thoughts as well as their dialog. Unlike the other reviewer, I had little trouble distinguishing the two. But it might have been worthwhile to explain it in a prologue for viewers not aware of what O'Neill was doing in this play.
This TV version contains an almost complete rendering of this very long play, which is seldom staged nowadays. So this may be your only chance to see it in something like its original form. The cast is uniformly superb. Glenda Jackson seems a bit old for Nina at first, until you realize that the play covers around 30 years and that she will be an old woman by the end. The late David Dukes is particularly good as Nina's "sperm donor." In all, engrossing and unique drama. I hope it will come out on DVD soon.
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