Long Day's Journey Into Night Reviews
The 3 hours are mainly dialogues and as the film goes on in the house, a "huis-clos", the spectator feels as trapped as the characters, especially Mary of course. This creates an uneasy clostrophobia mood and manage to keep us from being utterly bored.
The relationships and psychology of every member of this addicted family (alcohol for the boys, morphine for the mother)-all of it revolving around the mother- is fascinating to watch..In the end ..every one of them is too self-centered to truthfully help one antoher and alleviate the pain they all bare.
Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother (Hepburn), a father (Richardson) who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother (Robards) who is emotionally unstable and a misfit. The family is reflected by the youngest son (Stockwell), who is a sensitive and aspiring writer.
Slow, especially in the middle, but the end picks up steam and the cast is good.
James Tyrone: [Edmund has just recited a piece of poetry] You recite it well... Who wrote it?
Edmund Tyrone: Baudelaire.
James Tyrone: [Dismissively] Never heard of him. Where you get your taste in authors...
James Tyrone: [Motioning to Edmund's bookshelves] This damned library of yours: Voltaire and Rousseau and Schopenhauer. And Ibsen... Atheists, fools and madmen! And your poet, this... "Baudelaire." And Swinburne, and Oscar Wilde. Whitman and Poe... Whoremongers and degenerates! When I've got three good sets of Shakespeare there you can read...
Edmund Tyrone: They say he was a souse, too.
James Tyrone: They lie. I don't doubt he liked his glass - it's a good man's failing - but he knew how to drink that it didn't poison his mind with morbidness and filth. Don't compare him with the pack you've got here. Your dirty Zola. And your...
James Tyrone: [Picking up one of Edmund's books and dismissively flipping through the pages] ... Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was a dope fiend, a... hmm.
Edmund Tyrone: [Bemused at his father's sudden discomfort] Perhaps it would be wise to change the subject.