A comparison of two “Iceman Cometh” films. From my “Playwright at Liberty” blog.
If, as I believe, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is the great American play, his The IcemanCometh vies with very few fellow contenders (The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July, Angels in America) for a most respectable second place.
Fifth of July is an odd contestant, I admit, in that is it far less well known than the others — although Lawrence Kasden obviously knew Wilson’s play well enough to rip it off for his infinitely more superficial and less plangent movie The Big Chill — and is very much a personal choice. Nearly all American playwrights of any standing used to cite Chekhov as among their greatest influences, if not…
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