Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Oresteia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamemnon, Brigadier General Ezra Mannon (Raymond Massey) comes home to his unhappy wife Christine (Katina Paxinou) and loving daughter Lavinia (Rosalind Russell). But Lavinia's ex-suitor, Adam Brant (Leo Genn), has become Christine's lover, and together Adam and Christine plot to poison Ezra. When they succeed, Lavinia turns to her brother Orin (Sir Michael Redgrave) to help bring the lovers to justice, but when they succeed, Orin goes mad and his suicide note may come between Lavinia and her new suitor, Peter Niles (Kirk Douglas).Written by
The movie is one of three RKO-distributed movies that were edited heavily after their initial unsuccessful first runs. The others were All That Money Can't Buy (1941) and Joan of Arc (1948). All three have been restored to their full lengths (or, in the case of this movie, approximately their full lengths) on DVD. See more »
While Adam Brandt stands by the bench where Lavinia is seated, he holds his hat by his side and then drops it on the ground. Instead of hastily picking it up and putting it on the bench next to him as he sits down, he seems to forget about it and leaves it on the ground after sitting down to talk to her. See more »
You folks at home take death so solemnly. You have to learn to mock or go crazy.
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After its original "roadshow" engagement in 1947, where the full 173-minute version was shown (with an intermission), "Mourning Becomes Electra" was cut to 121 minutes for the remainder of its theatrical run. This version is not available for television, but does exist in 16mm prints. See more »
This is one of the best acted, entertaining movies I've ever seen. I don't know why it is so bashed by the media. Rosalind Russell is perfect as the overwrought Lavinia, whose hatred gets the best of her. Russell is simply superb. Michael Redgrave, while not as good as Russell, nevertheless gives substance to a weak role. I thought Katina Paxinou, of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" fame, was excellent too and her scenes with Russell crackle with bitchiness that O'Neill probably didn't intend.
And the best news of all, this magnificent film is finally being released on DVD in December 2004. Never on VHS, laserdisc, or any form except, for God bless it, TCM, this film needs exposure to help its reputation as a great drama and a well-acted film that has been mistreated by the years.
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