Long Day's Journey into Night

Long Day's Journey into Night (Sidney Lumet, 1962)

Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, Dean Stockwell

Over the course of one day in August 1912, the family of retired actor James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of his wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund and the alcoholism and debauchery of their older son Jamie. As day turns into night, guilt, anger, despair, and regret threaten to destroy the family.

The operative word in the title is 'long' - three tedious hours, in this case. I had to watch it over two nights, but fortunately could do other, more interesting things while it churned away.

The melodrama, in the bad acting sense of the word, lingered on into the 1960s, apparently. This could have been directed by D.W. Griffith.

Richardson doesn't seem to at all interested in this play, sorry film. He wanders around saying the lines in what sounds vaguely like an Irish accent - maybe that's his attempt to do 'American'.

Jason Robards is the loudest, and makes the most of his long, big scene, overshadowing Dean Stockwell to such an extent that he becomes almost invisible.

Katharine Hepburn, however, was born to play Mary Tyrone, and it's her film. She was nominated for the Oscar, but she was up against another four strong women, any one of whom deserved it also (Geraldine Page, Lee Remick, Bette Davis, and Anne Bancroft - who won it for The Miracle Worker.)


Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 12 September, 2018 | Now: 12 September, 2018