6.5/10
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35 user 9 critic

Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)

Approved | | Drama | 19 November 1947 (USA)
Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Oresteia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamemnon, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »

Director:

Dudley Nichols

Writer:

Eugene O'Neill (play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosalind Russell ... Lavinia Mannon
Michael Redgrave ... Orin Mannon
Raymond Massey ... Brig. Gen. Ezra Mannon
Katina Paxinou ... Christine Mannon
Leo Genn ... Adam Brant
Kirk Douglas ... Peter Niles
Nancy Coleman ... Hazel Niles
Henry Hull ... Seth Beckwith
Sara Allgood ... Adam Brant's Landlady
Thurston Hall ... Dr. Blake
Walter Baldwin ... Amos Ames
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Hills
Erskine Sanford ... Josiah Borden
Jimmy Conlin Jimmy Conlin ... Abner Small
Lee Baker Lee Baker ... Reverend Hills
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Storyline

Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Oresteia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamemnon, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving daughter (Lavinia). But Lavinia's ex-suitor, Adam Brant, has become Christine's lover, and together Adam and Christine plot to poison Ezra. When they succeed, Lavinia turns to her brother Orin 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. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mother and Daughter Loving the Same Man! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$435,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is one of three RKO-distributed films that were edited heavily after their initial unsuccessful first runs; the others were The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) and Joan of Arc (1948). All three have been restored to their full length (or, in the case of "Mourning Becomes Electra", approximately their full length) on DVD. See more »

Goofs

While Orin is standing by a bench where Lavinia is seated, he holds his hat by his side and drops it. It just lies there on the dirt path as he sits down, and he doesn't pick it up. See more »

Quotes

Orin Mannon: You folks at home take death so solemnly. You have to learn to mock or go crazy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This is (unfortunately) usually shown on television in a heavily cut 105-minute version. The 159-minute UK version can sometimes be seen on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Connections

Version of Il lutto si addice ad Elettra (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie has had a bad rap for years....
1 November 2004 | by bogatorSee all my reviews

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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