Eric Linden as Richard Miller and Helen Flint as Belle in Ah, Wilderness! (1935) Ah, Wilderness! is a bit of an anomaly in the Eugene O'Neill canon, in that it's a comedy. It is, in fact, his only full length comedy. Coming after the 5-hour Strange Interlude and (right after) the play cycle Mourning Becomes … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Ah, Wilderness!
Rosalind Russell and Michael Redgrave in Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) The dead! Why can't the dead die! -Lavinia Mannon, The Haunted, Act Four (O'Neill 372) After the 5-hour Strange Interlude, which was the height of his experimental phase, Eugene O’Neill wrote the three-play cycle Mourning Becomes Electra, which is the height of his Greek tragedy … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Mourning Becomes Electra
Norma Shearer, Alexander Kirkland, and Clark Gable in Strange Interlude (1932) While the best of O'Neill's Greek tragedy-inspired plays and realistic plays were in the future, we now come to the culmination of his experimental plays. Strange Interlude was the third play to win him a Pulitzer Prize and the last one he'd win while … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Strange Interlude
Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins in Desire Under the Elms Eugene O'Neill's plays can be grouped into three or four major categories. In Beyond the Horizon and Anna Christie, O’Neill wrote realistic plays with melodramatic elements. Starting with The Emperor Jones and culminating in Strange Interlude (which we'll discuss in the next post), O'Neill dabbled … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Desire Under the Elms
Paul Robeson as The Emperor Jones Between Beyond the Horizon and Anna Christie comes The Emperor Jones. Charles S. Gilpin originated the role of Brutus Jones, but had a falling out with O'Neill when the playwright refused to remove the N-word from the play, which Gilpin would often change to "Negro" during performances. For the … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: The Emperor Jones
Greta Garbo as Anna Christie Next up on the list of important O'Neill plays is Anna Christie, which won O'Neill his second Pulitzer Prize, just two years after he won for Beyond the Horizon. It was also the first play of his to be adapted to the screen, in a 1923 silent version directed by … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Anna Christie
Eugene O'Neill Though I did a report on him in high school, I have seen only one Eugene O'Neill play (A Moon for the Misbegotten) and read another (Long Day's Journey Into Night). While O'Neill productions are sadly not as numerous as they should be, I have decided to rectify this situation by renting movie … Continue reading The Plays of Eugene O’Neill: Beyond the Horizon