The only way to present this O'Neill play is in this extended form to full comprehend the depths that he was trying to explore. The 1947 version was a worthy try although with miscast performers but you can't squeeze a five hour plus drama into half that time and expect it to succeed as that movie tried to do.
The men in the cast, Josef Sommer, Bruce Davison, Jeffrey DeMunn, Roberts Blossom all contribute fine work but this is structured and belongs to the two main females of the tale. Here is where this production excels, the great Joan Hackett is brilliant as the unfaithful mother Christine only outshone by Roberta Maxwell who is amazing as the deeply complex Lavinia, how this didn't launch her into a great starring career is a mystery. Perhaps she preferred the stage since her screen credits are not vast.
The story, which is often bleak, requires commitment but for those willing to invest the time it is a worthwhile journey.
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