Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)


“You folks at home take death so solemnly. You have to learn to mock or go crazy.” – Orin

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 Jun 2018)

Brief Synopsis – On a Southern Estate following the Civil War, a family must find a way to deal with all of their familial problems as each member wants to inherit the vast estate.

My Take on it – This is another film that I had never heard of before seeing that Michael Redgrave was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role here.

Redgrave and Rosalind Russell both play quite powerful roles here, but she outshines every other cast member with her performance as the daughter who wants to gain all of the power for herself.

The mystery and intrigue in this story could easily rival many modern day soap operas because of all that occurs here.

Unfortunately, the story gets too convoluted along the way and its easy to lose interest fairly early on because it gets too melodramatic along the way.

This film is nearly 3 hours long and that runtime clearly hurts the film instead of helps it like in many other cases.

I can completely understand why they would trim the runtime down after this film failed at the box office, but even with the edit, I wonder if the story still remains coherent, but since I have never seen the shorter version (and probably never will), I guess I’ll never really find out.

Bottom Line – Redgrave does a fine job as the heir of a Southern Estate filled with lots of mystery and infighting among the various family members. Russell outshines him and everyone else as the daughter trying to prove that she is the rightful heir.  The story itself feels too much like a soap opera and isn’t as interesting as one would hope. The near 3 hour runtime is way too long and I can understand why they would trim it after the film failed at the box office.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Rosalind Russell received an Academy Award nomination for her role in this film. Apparently, she was so sure she was going to win that, when the winner was about to be announced, she had risen from her seat to accept it… only to discover that the winner was Loretta Young for her performance in The Farmer’s Daughter (1947). (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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2 thoughts on “Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)

  1. I remember this not working for me at all except for Kirk Douglas. My favorite quote about this is from Pauline Kael-It stars Katina Paxinou, Raymond Massey, Rosalind Russell and Michael Redgrave. It is obvious from their accents they have only recently become a family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1947 | MovieRob

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