17 December 2006 | caa821
Excellent - then and now
Eugene O'Neill is an author where virtually everyone seems compelled to pan any movie versus the stage production of any of his works -- and professional critics almost alway seem to have to criticize (endlessly) any subsequent stage production versus predecessors.
Whatever... this film is excellent - and now, as with any from its period of original release, provides a substantial nostalgic bonus, to view the work from its original period, as well as seeing these actors (some now gone, all others much older) as they were "then."
The scenes between Loren and Perkins - an unlikely pairing when viewed "on paper," are surprisingly engaging and steamy now (and with a CAPITAL "S" then).
Burl Ives is a conceited, domineering, hypercritical, even cruel, sort of "Big Daddy to the umpteenth power." In fact, he makes Big Dady, and, say, Orson Welles' Will Varner in "The Long, Hot Summer," look like pussycats.
To classify O'Neill's drama as dark probably is redundant - but that's his appeal, which he carries-off superbly, here and in his other works, whether on screen or stage. This is a real classic.