Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BOOK VS MOVIE: Long Day's Journey into Night

I saw a review describing Tennesse Williams as "the greatest U.S. playwright since Eugene O'Neill". Being the curious person that I am, I decided to check out a work of O'Neill's.
The story chronicles one day of the Tyrone family. The members of the family are James, a former actor; Mary, a lonely housewife; Jamie, a struggling actor; and Edmund, who always seems to be sick. Each family member has a secret: they're all addicts. James. Jamie and Edmund are all alcoholics, while Mary is hooked on morphine.
The character of Mary Tyrone reminded me of A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche DuBois, since both are women who live in their own little world and are on the verge of having a breakdown. The fact that the play is autobiographical (O'Neill is portrayed as Edmund) gives it a more shocking feel.
The movie was good because it stays true to the play. But did it really need to be nearly three hours long? In a word, no.
What's worth checking out?: I'd go with the play.

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