Long day's journey into night

United States, 1962

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Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical play is brought stunningly to the screen by director Lumet and his superb cast. Tracing the destructive interactions of an Irish-American family over a long summer’s day and night, the film is an illuminating study of familial hypocrisy and betrayal. The formidable cast includes Katherine Hepburn who dominates the screen with her portrayal of a mother addicted to morphine and unable to forgive her husband and her sons for the banality of her life, Ralph Richardson as the alcoholic father who uses his childhood experiences of poverty as a weapon against his children, Jason Robards Jr. is outstanding as the oldest son, “the failure” who has inherited his father’s alcoholism and a young Dean Stockwell is the melancholy poet, a character based on O’Neill himself. The play’s Freudian “revelations” may seem dated but the power of O’Neill’s writing is undiminished. This story of the corrosive emotional battles within a family is still shockingly relevant to a contemporary audience and so are the film’s thematic concerns with the psychological effects of migration and addiction.

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production company

Joseph E. Levine

Embassy Pictures Corporation (US)

Republic Pictures Corporation


Ely Landau


Sidney Lumet



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Audience classification


Subject categories


Feature films

Feature films → Feature films - United States

Literature → American literature - Film and video adaptations

Literature → Literature

Literature → O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953

People → O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953




Black and White


VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/82358--long-days-journey-into-night/ |title=Long day's journey into night |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=23 May 2022 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}