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Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)

Approved | | Drama | 19 November 1947 (USA)
Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Oresteia set in New England, after the American Civil War.

Director:

Dudley Nichols

Writer:

Eugene O'Neill (play)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosalind Russell ... Lavinia Mannon
Michael Redgrave ... Orin Mannon
Raymond Massey ... Brig. Gen. Ezra Mannon
Katina Paxinou ... Christine Mannon
Leo Genn ... Adam Brant
Kirk Douglas ... Peter Niles
Nancy Coleman ... Hazel Niles
Henry Hull ... Seth Beckwith
Sara Allgood ... Adam Brant's Landlady
Thurston Hall ... Dr. Blake
Walter Baldwin ... Amos Ames
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Hills
Erskine Sanford ... Josiah Borden
Jimmy Conlin ... Abner Small
Lee Baker Lee Baker ... Reverend Hills
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Storyline

Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Oresteia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamemnon, Brigadier General Ezra Mannon (Raymond Massey) comes home to his unhappy wife Christine (Katina Paxinou) and loving daughter Lavinia (Rosalind Russell). But Lavinia's ex-suitor, Adam Brant (Leo Genn), has become Christine's lover, and together Adam and Christine plot to poison Ezra. When they succeed, Lavinia turns to her brother Orin (Sir Michael Redgrave) to help bring the lovers to justice, but when they succeed, Orin goes mad and his suicide note may come between Lavinia and her new suitor, Peter Niles (Kirk Douglas). Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Sinister Triangle In Dramatic History! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$435,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Sir Michael Redgrave's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

While Orin is standing by a bench where Lavinia is seated, he holds his hat by his side and drops it. It just lies there on the dirt path as he sits down, and he doesn't pick it up. See more »

Quotes

Orin Mannon: You folks at home take death so solemnly. You have to learn to mock or go crazy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This is (unfortunately) usually shown on television in a heavily cut 105-minute version. The 159-minute UK version can sometimes be seen on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Southern Yankee (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Shenandoah
(uncredited)
Traditional sea chantey
Sung over credits and throughout film by unidentified male chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rosalind owed a favor
30 April 2013 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Miscast, stagnant version of something that's heavy going to begin with. Redgrave is good as Orin the haunted son. Rosalind tries but is just the wrong actress for the part, ideally it should have been Katharine Hepburn or Olivia de Havilland. She owed Dudley Nichols a favor for adapting and directing the story of Sister Kenny, a dream project for her and this was his but could only get it made with her participation, she even admitted that she was wrong for it but felt a sense of loyalty and went forward. Katina Paxinou gives an overblown operatic performance in a part that would have fit Garbo perfectly. The play is really too complex for a standard film version, the extended PBS production in the late 70s with Joan Hackett and Roberta Maxwell got it right but that one clocks in at just under five hours.


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