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Desire Under the Elms (1958)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 6 May 1958 (Japan)
Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into ... See full summary »

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writers:

Irwin Shaw (screenplay), Eugene O'Neill (play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sophia Loren ... Anna Cabot
Anthony Perkins ... Eben Cabot
Burl Ives ... Ephraim Cabot
Frank Overton ... Simeon Cabot
Pernell Roberts ... Peter Cabot
Rebecca Welles Rebecca Welles ... Lucinda Cabot (as Rebecca Wells)
Jean Willes ... Florence Cabot
Anne Seymour ... Eben's Mother
Roy Fant Roy Fant ... Fiddler
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Storyline

Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into early graves. Most bitter is Eben, whose mother had owned most of the farm, and who feels who should be sole heir. When the old man brings home a new wife, Anna, she becomes a fierce contender to inherit the farm. Two of the sons leave when Eben gives them the fare in return for their shares of the farm. Meanwhile, Anna tries to cause some sparks by rubbing up against Eben. Written by Ray Hamel <hamel@primate.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sophia Loren plays Anthony Perkins stepmother in the film. In real life, she was two years younger than Perkins. See more »

Goofs

In several outdoor scenes, people cast two (or more) shadows showing that there are two light sources. See more »

Connections

Version of Kali bazrobidan (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
Traditional
Sung by Anthony Perkins (Eben)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent - then and now
17 December 2006 | by caa821See all my reviews

Eugene O'Neill is an author where virtually everyone seems compelled to pan any movie versus the stage production of any of his works -- and professional critics almost alway seem to have to criticize (endlessly) any subsequent stage production versus predecessors.

Whatever... this film is excellent - and now, as with any from its period of original release, provides a substantial nostalgic bonus, to view the work from its original period, as well as seeing these actors (some now gone, all others much older) as they were "then."

The scenes between Loren and Perkins - an unlikely pairing when viewed "on paper," are surprisingly engaging and steamy now (and with a CAPITAL "S" then).

Burl Ives is a conceited, domineering, hypercritical, even cruel, sort of "Big Daddy to the umpteenth power." In fact, he makes Big Dady, and, say, Orson Welles' Will Varner in "The Long, Hot Summer," look like pussycats.

To classify O'Neill's drama as dark probably is redundant - but that's his appeal, which he carries-off superbly, here and in his other works, whether on screen or stage. This is a real classic.


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