ⓘ Long Day's Journey into Night (1962 film)

                                     

ⓘ Long Days Journey into Night (1962 film)

Long Days Journey into Night is a 1962 American drama film adaptation of the Eugene ONeill play. It was directed by Sidney Lumet, and produced by Ely Landau, with Joseph E. Levine and Jack J. Dreyfus Jr. as executive producers. The screenplay was not adapted, but used directly from ONeills play, the music score by Andre Previn, and the cinematography by Boris Kaufman.

It was shot at Chelsea Studios in New York City. The exteriors were shot on City Island.

The film has been restored and preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive.

                                     

1. Plot and themes

The film concerns a fateful, heart-rending day in August 1912 at the seaside Connecticut home of the Tyrone family.

One theme of the play is addiction and the resulting dysfunction of the family: All three males are alcoholics, and Mary is addicted to morphine. They all constantly conceal, blame, resent, regret, accuse, and deny in an escalating cycle of conflict with occasional desperate and half-sincere attempts at affection, encouragement, and consolation.

                                     

2. Cast and characters

  • Jason Robards as James Tyrone, Jr.
  • Jeanne Barr as Cathleen
  • Dean Stockwell as Edmund Tyrone
  • Katharine Hepburn as Mary Tyrone
  • Ralph Richardson as James Tyrone, Sr.
                                     

3. Production

Producer Ely Landau did a version of The Iceman Cometh for TV. This impressed the widow of Eugene ONeil enough for her to give him the screen rights to Long Days Journey. The cast and director formed a cooperative and agreed to work for a lower fee in exchange for a percentage of the profits. The film was reportedly shot for $435.000 over 37 days, two days over schedule. Lumet later wrote that the total budget was $490.000.

                                     

4. Reception

Joseph E. Levine bought the film for distribution, but said he lost money on it. "You cannot stay in business by making ONeill pictures", he said. Lumet later wrote that "there actually were some profits."

                                     

5. Awards and nominations

  • Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, and Dean Stockwell all won the Best Actor/Actress award at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Palme dOr.
  • Katharine Hepburn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.