The Great American Family at its worst. James Tyrone is an aging actor and skinflint whose miserliness has been the ruin of his family. His wife, Mary, has been a morphine addict since the ... See full summary »
The Great American Family at its worst. James Tyrone is an aging actor and skinflint whose miserliness has been the ruin of his family. His wife, Mary, has been a morphine addict since the birth of their youngest son, Edmund. Their eldest son, Jamie is an alcoholic, unable an unwilling to find work on his own, he has been 'forced' to take up his father's profession. Edmund, who has been away as a sailor has returned home sick and awaits the doctor's diagnosis of consumption. Each of them is so self-centered, and self-pitying, that they cannot help one-another. None of them even know what they want and they can't bear it. Written by
Al Jacques <email@example.com>
The best ensemble acting you are likely to ever see.
I saw this version of Long Day's Journey into Night several years ago on PBS Great Performances. I tuned in because I had misread the credits in the TV listing. I thought the star was William Hurt, and I wanted to see his interpretation of James Tyrone (even though he would have been too young to play him at the time). My initial disappointment vanished as I began to see how good William Hutt and the other cast members were. I now have four different version of this, my favorite play -- Katherine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson, Jack Lemon, Laurence Olivier, and this one. This is by far the best. All five performances (even the maid) are magnificent. The setting and direction are flawless. Director David Wellington resists a needless 'opening up' of the play onto the veranda, the lawn, or the garage. He maintains a close-up focus on the actors, so that every fleeting emotion is seen and felt. It's the drama of the characters revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to each other that grabs you.
I've watched my tape of the PBS presentation many times, and was thrilled to find this gem on DVD at Amazon. Anyone who enjoys great theater and great acting is in for a treat with this Canadian production from the Stratford Festival. A 10 out of 10.
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