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Mourning Becomes Electra

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Mourning Becomes Electra#1
Posted: 3/22/08 at 2:54pm
I've just watched the 1947 film Mourning Becomes Electra starring Rosalind Russell, Michael Redgrave, Katina Paxinou, Raymond Massey, and Kirk Douglas.

I was reading other reviews on IMDB and they mentioned how it was too stagey, how it needed to be more cinematic, how the sets were uninspiring, and how weird it was to see the principle actors giving different styles of performances in one film.

I'm interested in hearing what you guys thought of the film.

I actually thought it was quite incredible and loved every moment of the film. I think I was shocked, more than anything, that a film mad ein 1947 Hollywood was able to keep the themes of the play intact. Themes of sexual frustration and desperation and subtle incestuous feelings between the characters.

I also felt the weird casting actually gave the movie something extra with the characters and their dynamic towards one another.

Rosalind Russell started out a bit stiff and was eclipsed by the powerful and passionate performance by Katina Paxinou in the beginning, but by the end of it, I felt she gave a very raw and real performance that I didn't think she was capable of (and I'm a huge fan of Russell who I felt should've won an Oscar for Auntie Mame and thought was a pretty great Rose in Gypsy). Also excellent is Michael Redgrave who was convincing as a good brother whose haunted sins of the war guilt him to desperate insanity.

"[Gore] was widely perceived as arrogant. If you know something, you're not smart. You're a smarty-pants. It's annoying. People get annoyed with your knowledge. It goes back to high school, to not doing your homework ... 'There's something I should know, I don't know why I should know it but someone knows it and I don't. So I'm going to have to make fun of him now.'" -Sarah Vowell, The Partly-Cloudy Patriot
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Mrs Mangel
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Broadway Legend
re: Mourning Becomes Electra#2
Posted: 3/22/08 at 4:31pm
Great film. And I'm constantly surprised by how good Roz Russell is in drama- so iconic as Auntie Mame, but in this and films like "Picnic", she makes you jump out of your seat.