1 September 2006 | fisherforrest
Well known actors and actresses read from O'Neill's plays and discuss his life
Eugene O'Neill has been called America's greatest playwright. He wrote about 38 plays, most of which were produced to great acclaim by critics and public alike. He did get some criticism here and there in his earlier days, but his last three or four plays are universally called some of the best ever written. "Mourning Becomes Elektra", "Long Day's Journey into Night", "The Iceman Cometh" and "A Moon for the Misbegotten" will be known to most of you, even the youngest, for they are sill being produced in theatres worldwide today. A good many of his plays have been made into films as well.
Despite his success as an author, O'Neill had a very unhappy life, stemming it seems from family troubles in his early life. This documentary details much of that using actors to speak for O'Neill and those who knew him in life. Readings from his plays are given by Jason Robards, Jr., Blythe Danner and others. Colleen Dewhurst talks at length about the effect of his plays on audiences and the direction of American theatre generally. It is very well done and edited and avoids the repetitiveness of the a recent 2006 documentary about Eugene O'Neill. Running about and hour and twenty minutes, it is well worth a watch. Finding a tape or disc may be difficult, though, since it aired as part of a PBS series circa 1983-1985.