Long Day's Journey Into Night
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If there is a complaint to be lodged about this film, it is this: that the performances of the four leads (Katherine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, and Dean Stockwell) are so definitive that, at least for me, watching any other version of this play has become impossible. I walked out on a well-reviewed live staging at intermission and turned off the PBS remake with Jack Lemmon at the end of the first act. It should not be this way, but it is: the filmmmakers did their work all too well!
Be forewarned: this film is very long (three hours), very talky, and very, very bleak. If you are expecting car crashes or hot sex scenes, look elsewhere. When Hollywood makes silly romance movies, they are often advertised as being about "the human heart." No: "Long Day's Journey Into Night" is about the human heart. And it is the most emotionally shattering motion picture I have ever seen.
This is a landmark brilliant film of perhaps Eugene O'Neill's great play. The directing by Sidney Lumet and the acting by Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, and Dean Stockwell is nothing less than amazing. This has got to be one of the 3 all-time greatest performaces from the late Ms. Hepburn!
Simply one of the most amazing films of the 1960's.
This should have been issued on Criteron. We should have gotten a first-rate restoration job with either a good documentary/back story on the making of the film, or a commentary by the two survivors of the film, Dean Stockwell and Sidney Lumet.
Instead we get a nearly public-domain quality release.
I'm so happy to finally get this important film on DVD...but I'm utterly disappointed at the slap-dash quality one has come to expect from Artisan.
HOWEVER, this DVD release is atrocious. This is close to a three-hour film and they crammed on to one disc. That wouldn't be so bad had they done a new transfer, but this looks like the same one used for the VHS tape. Cropped for the TV screen like the video release, (this was definitely shot in widescreen, according to imdb.com), it's got the same gritty, low-res quality. You could tape this movie off of TCM or Bravo and get better quality. Rent it, tape it, but hold off on buying this until it's given a proper DVD release (if anyone from the Criterion Collection's listening, please license this movie!)
This painfully autobiographical play is set on the long day and night in 1912 when the Tyrone family deals the news that young Edmund (Dean Stockwell) has tuberculosis. The tragedy is compounded by the rest of the family: a father (Ralph Richardson) who is a miser, a brother (Jason Robards, Jr., repeating his stage performance) who finds solace in drink, and a mother who retreats into her addiction to morphine before the night is over. Writing about his own family, O'Neill not only changed their last names to Tyrone but also switched Eugene with Edmund, the name of the infant brother who died. After watching this heartbreakingly painful story you know why the playwright wanted it tucked away until he was long gone.
Hepburn received her ninth Oscar nomination for her role as Mary Tyrone (the award went to Anne Bancroft for "The Miracle Worker"), and the four actors shared the acting award for the Cannes Film Festival along with the principals of "A Taste of Hone" (no clue how they came to that strange pairing).Read more ›
The movie is really a series of confrontations and long recollections. As the story progresses, we learn that each of the family members, instead of bonding over Edmund's illness, is gradually retreating into private hellish worlds and that the inability to peacefully cohabitate stems from an inability to move on from events long passed. Even though they are all obviously intelligent people, they refuse to get past their disappointments, and we are left to witness the repercussions of how their choices have affected their relationships and most tragically, how their relationships have informed their choices.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Synopsis: Family bitches at each other, apologize, drink, bitch more.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great film that showed the dynamics of an addicted family. It shed light on addiction and how it destroys people and how important support is needed to recover.Published 3 months ago by lkfair
I love it. The only part I don't like is the talk about "Fat Violet." That is super annoying but everything else is perfect.Published 7 months ago by D. Kresh
Many have used families as a backdrop to explore human emotions at their rawest: Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar... Read morePublished 8 months ago by likes good books, music, movies
I purchased the movie because it was recommended as one of the best movies on DVD. It wasn't and I wasted my money on an overlong mess. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Grandmamao