This almost-three-hour adaptation was everything I would hope for Lumet perfection. But is clearly a passion project and, like all passion projects, the choices aren't always perfect. Its overlong, its so dialogue-driven that is that kind of “actor's film” that doesn't excels in any form that it's not it's performances. I would love to love this film, but I couldn't.
Pretty much perfect in every way. The acting is stellar by all involved, but Robards probably gave the performance of his career here. Lumet helms another masterpiece, and, like 12 angry men, he sort of lets everything unfold naturally. It really does still feel like a play, they didnt really do much to change that. Perhaps that would hamper some folks enjoyment, but not me. One of the best of the 60s. Essential.
Much more understandable when you're familiar with the play. The length of the film is explained by the fact that O'Neill's text wasn't tampered with like so often Hollywood did to plays. The characters try to escape the situation in different ways, and Hepburn's portrayal is spot on as Mary, who takes drugs to disappear into herself. The moody cinematography adds to the oppressing atmosphere of frustration.
It has a feeling of walking through treacle..not in a bad way..everything is considered..the performances, almost over the top, but not...all the characters are damaged in some way, all just clinging on to, something, each other?..wonderful..and Dean Stockwell..He is the brother James Dean should have had.
“The things life has done to us, we cannot excuse, or explain.” - Mary / “It was a great mistake my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or fish. As it is, I’ll always be a stranger who can never really feel at home.” - Edmund
Very strong performances all around, Katharine Hepburn in particular. One thing that puzzled me was the effects of morphine - for half a movie I would have sworn she was on amphetamines (harking back to the mother in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee). The strongest point of the plot is how it's impossible to point out a single overarching reason for things to have gone so terribly wrong, how it all is self-perpetuating
Wanted to love it but it was really just back and forth for 3 hours with a lot of "I'm sorry I said that" then directly firing into another accusation or rebuttal, after a while I just wanted it to end. Performances were great all around though, Queen Katherine going absolutely NUTS