a play by
Eugene O'Neill; cinematographer: George Barnes;
Mannon), Michael Redgrave
(Orin Mannon), Raymond Massey (Brig. Gen. Ezra Mannon),
(Christine Mannon), Leo Genn (Adam Brant), Kirk Douglas
Nancy Coleman (Hazel Niles), Henry Hull (Seth Beckwith),
Blake); Runtime: 173; MPAA Rating: NR;
"The long, talky film, based on an ancient Greek tragedy play, was a bomb at the box office."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The long, talky film, based on an ancient Greek
play, was a bomb at the box office, though receiving
reviews. It's theatrical and static, but the play's
insights are so timeless they greatly influenced the
likes of a Freud.
Dudley Nichols ("Sister Kenny"), unevenly
but unswervingly faithful to O'Neills florid prose,
version of the Eugene O'Neill drama, which had run six
hours onstage. It's inspired by the "Oresteia"
trilogy by Aeschylus. The action begins in 1865
Russell is cast as
Lavinia, a Civil War-era Electra. She received an
Oscar nomination for
At the end of the
the wealthy family patriarch of a long established New
England family that made its money in shipping,
Union army Brig. Gen. Ezra Mannon (Raymond Massey), returns to his estate
and his wounded
son Orin (Michael
soon also return from the war.
Ezra's devoted daughter Lavinia,
who has a fixation on dad, rejects the love of her
good guy returning
soldier suitor Peter Niles (Kirk Douglas), but finds out that her foreign
Paxinou, Greek actress) is having an
affair with sea captain Adam
the man she's in love with, and
blackmails mom to give up the dashing captain or else
she'll tell dad. Later the incensed daughter learns that
Adam is the son of Lavinia's banished great uncle
David and his wife
Marie, a former Mannon servant as a nurse.
The return of a hubby
hates and the blackmail, stirs the heartless bitchy Christine to murder hubby
in bed while
plying him with poison instead of his heart meds. This
sets the stage
for the children seeking revenge. It sets off a vortex of bloody violence
murder and two suicides, and after the bloodbath the
closing her mansion to the outside world to live as a
It's framed around three chapters: "The Homecoming," "The Hunted" and "The Haunted."
REVIEWED ON 6/12/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ