Desire Under the Elm (1958) C
Director Delbert Mann (Oscar-winner for “Marty”) and screenwriter Irwin Shaw’s adaptation of “Desire Under the Elm,” Eugene O’Neill’s version of a Greek tragedy ïs too sedate and tasteful for its own good. It is also miscast.
The story takes place in New England, circa the 1840s, where the emotionally detached but passionately hot farmer, Ephraim Cabot (Burl Ives, as usual patriarchal), lives with is much younger and beautiful third wife, Anna Cabot (Sophia Loren).
When his stepson Eben (Anthony Perkins) arrives, the house’s sexual-social dynamics change, and he and Anna engage in a semi-incestuous love affair.
The tale reaches its melodramatic intensity and tragic effect, when Anna gets pregnant, and Epraim thinks the child is his own.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Cinematography (b/w): Daniel L. Fapp
Oscar Awards: None
The winner was Sam Levitt for “The Defiant Ones.”
Running time: 114 Minutes.
Directed by Delbert Mann.
Written by Irwin Shaw.
Released: March 12, 1958.
DVD: August 31, 2004
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