Author Eugene O’Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother who is emotionally unstable and a misfit. The family is reflected by the youngest son, who is a sensitive and aspiring writer. —IMDb
Sidney Lumet (born June 25, 1924) is an American film director, with over 50 films to his name, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which, except for Serpico (1973), earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
According to The Encyclopedia of Hollywood, Lumet is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era making more than one movie per year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He is especially noted for his ability to draw major actors to his projects. “Because of his visual economy, strong direction of actors, vigorous storytelling and use of the camera to accent themes,” states Turner Classic Movies. “Lumet produced a body of work that could only be defined as extraordinary.”
One of his steady themes during his career has been the “fragility of justice and the police and their corruption,” according to Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film. He can deliver… read more
Watched the Lion's Gate DVD of this, and was kind of shocked by how poor the transfer was--in the early, exterior scenes, it almost looked as though the property was being overrun with locusts. I hear the blu-ray is a good restoration, which is comforting, at least. Terrific musical score and performances made up for it, complementing O'Neill's dialogue nicely.
Focus on American Intellectual Film Classics. Sidney Lumet’s “Long Day’s Journey into the Night” (1962) – Confrontations and Co-existence between Religious Psychology and Sprouts of Existential Spirituality Religious Authoritarianism and Spiritual Anti-authoritarianism in Tyrone Family “Long Day’s Journey into the Night” by Sidney Lumet (based on Eugene O’Neill’s play) is a film about family life – about a common destiny, how we cope with problems of personal relationships, how we treat one another inside our families, how human soul becomes part of the family soul, and how our social life competes and coexists with our family obligations and dedications. When we today watch the life of Tyrone family in the beginning of 20th century, we are amazed at how much American family relations have changed after only one hundred years. Our main difference from the Tyrones is not how much we have developed in our ability to be wiser and kinder to people we love and live with. The picture is, rather, the opposite – how much emotional sensitivity, mental maneuverability in adapting to each other, empathy and sympathy we have lost for these years of our country’s “democratic development”, and the major losses, it seems, happened during the last thirty years. Watching “Long Day’s…” is an educational and a psycho-dramatic experience mobilizing our introspection and our ability to observe our emotional reactions (in comparison with that of Tyrone family members) more objectively. James, Mary and their two grown-up sons (Jamie and Edmund) are born in the very midst of traditional Christianity and, together with American culture are going through the process of secularization of worldview. A father who was a famous Shakespearean actor still maintains a religious psychology (that Lumet analyses in detail), although a refracted one by his exposition to the grace of serious art. Mary, his wife, personifies martyrdom aspect of religious psychology - she suffers for being a “bad mother and wife” but her self-judgment is severe because of spiritual perfectionism of her worldview. James and Mary’s sons try to rebel against religious authoritarianism – they personify correspondingly two aspects of post-religious spirituality, Jamie – its intellectual aspect, and Edmund – its artistic-mystical aspect. While experiencing the film we feel that we have to learn a lot from the of the beginning of previous century, that our everyday communications with each other are cognitively flat and thin and emotionally narrow and petty in comparison with theirs. Instead of honest arguments, as they had, we have “premature ejaculations” of clashes, frustrations and sulking. Instead of positive confrontations we choose people (to be with) by the principle of similarity, and we are isolated from the otherness of other people and of the world around. Because Lumet concentrates on the psychological confrontations between characters and on the truths coming out of it the film is very interesting to watch – our life today with all its distractions from our humanity to entertaining (consumerist) images of Hollywood blockbusters, TV soups of soaps and pop-singing is much more boring than they had way back then. The acting of Jason Robards and Dean Stockwell is not just dramatic but poetic, not just truthful but gracious, and Mary Tyrone of Katharine Hepburn is her best work on screen, while Ralph Richardson was able not only to open the heart of James Tyrone for the viewers but sharply depicted his psychological defenses. By Victor Enyutin
A very well written and respected work marvelously directed by Sidney Lumet who tries to open up with the film for more locations to bring it out from it’s stage origins so as to not be so stuffy… read review