Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Eugene O’Neill’s greatest playwritten in 1940, but published only posthumously, in 1956is a frankly autobiographical look at his own doomed family, set in 1912, when he was in his early 20s. Sidney Lumet rightly retained the entire text for this 1962 black-and-white feature, which runs for 174 minutes. It’s as close to a definitive version as we’re likely to get, and it includes what is probably Katharine Hepburn’s greatest noncomic performance. The other three actorsRalph Richardson as the father, Jason Robards Jr. as the older son, and Dean Stockwell as the younger son (O’Neill’s self-portrait)keep pace with her every step of the way. (JR)

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