Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving daughter (Lavinia). But Lavinia's ex-suitor, Adam Brant, has become Christine's lover, and together Adam and Christine plot to poison Ezra. When they succeed, Lavinia turns to her brother Orin 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.


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Critic Reviews for Mourning Becomes Electra

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

O'Neill is one of the finest theatrical craftsmen of his day, and Electra has a gnashing vitality.

March 2, 2018 | Full Review…

The entire cast is excellent. The somber mood of the story is accentuated in the photography, by George Barnes As might be expected, O'Neill's dialogue is brilliant.

June 23, 2020 | Full Review…

This horrendous tragedy was withdrawn and drastically edited after its disastrous première a couple of years ago. If the original was worse it must have been truly dreadful.

October 24, 2019 | Full Review…

The long, talky film, based on an ancient Greek tragedy play, was a bomb at the box office.

June 12, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

More than a curio.... The awkward style and portentous structure of Nichols' film astonishes possess an integritiy that commands attention. Formidable, and memorable.

August 21, 2005 | Rating: B | Full Review…

How to wreck a dramatic masterpiece in three grueling hours.

September 10, 2004 | Rating: 1/5

Audience Reviews for Mourning Becomes Electra

Brutally long for an unpolished piece, Mourning Becomes Electra causes you to twitch as you realize that you still have ages to go before the end.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

A classic story is brought to film, but it's so long and boring that it's hard to keep interest in the story. Maybe if you're a big fan of the original play, but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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, and 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 70's with Joan Hackett and Roberta Maxwell got it right but that one clocks in at just under five hours.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Mourning Becomes Electra Quotes

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