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Credited cast:
Stellar Bennett
Thomas Hill
Richard Russell Ramos


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Release Date:

6 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great Performances: Mourning Becomes Electra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(in 5 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally shown on Great Performances (1971). See more »


Version of Trauer muß Elektra tragen (1970) See more »

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Could there be any more hatred in a family?
16 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The long night turning into day happened in THIS play, as we watch the revulsion Christine feels for the advances of her newly returned Civil War general, paralleled by the stalking and pacing of the jealous daughter, Lavinia (Vinny) downstairs. The incest overtones are obvious, but always sublimated by at least the father, who rejects his daughter's continual advances.

The death scene is well done, and even though the histrionics of Christine, fainting but yet keeping tightly clutched in her hand the box of poison, were hard to believe...they did add to the drama.

Knowing O'Neill's family history, one wonders how much of him is in Oren/Orestes? As all parents do, we make mistakes......none so horrendous as those these parents seem to have made. And yet, on the exterior, the Mannions are the bedrock of the town, just so proper.

O'Neill uses the family retainer as the Greek chorus, always lurking around and making his comments to give the viewer context. Beautifully photographed movied. The lines were superior:" I have killed other men, they all look like Father dead, and then their faces turn to my own. " At a time like this, when so many of our children are dying for oil in a foreign country that we have immorally invaded, we need to remember how ugly death is "Bodies sewn all over the hillside" in the Civil War as also in Iraq today. The look of surprise 'as though he had stepped on a tack' of the Reb who dies from Oren's sword under his ear brings the face of death to us, without the physical appearance. In fact, Oren's haunted tale of the murders he has committed in war (so truthfully stated, because our children are MURDERING others today 'legally' but immorally) disturb the viewer much more than the actual murder. Why?

Add this one to your library. And yes, you can call it an anti-war film, as well as a tale told to parents about the importance of showing love to your children when they're young. Reaping those bitter oats, as what the elder Mannions sewed, most assuredly they did also reap, is what this movie is all about.

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