Melissa Rose Bernardo
May 09, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Long Day's Journey Into Night (Movie - 1987)

Current Status
In Season
Jack Lemmon, Bethel Leslie, Peter Gallagher, Kevin Spacey
Jonathan Miller

We gave it an A-

If you think your family is dysfunctional, spend a few harrowing hours with the Tyrones: Mother (Bethel Leslie) is doing dope, Dad (Jack Lemmon) is a tightfisted thesp who closely watches the level on the whiskey bottle, son Jamie (Kevin Spacey) is a drunken drifter, and his brother Edmund (Peter Gallagher, brooding beautifully) spends his time coughing ominously into a crumpled handkerchief. Jonathan Miller’s feverish revival of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece Long Day’s Journey into Night (originally broadcast on Showtime) is more a fast sting than a slow burn and showcases some very fine acting — particularly by Lemmon and Spacey, whose camaraderie is so natural it’s no wonder they became fast friends and frequent costars. EXTRAS An hour-plus chat with Miller isn’t nearly as exciting as the equally long audio interview with Spacey, who recalls his ”phenomenally annoying” campaign to get this part (which involved stealing a cocktail-party invite out of a sleeping old lady’s purse!). He also impersonates Lemmon’s reaction to seeing him at a Glengarry Glen Ross read-through (”Can’t you get a job without me?”) and reveals that the late actor wrote to a co-op board to help Spacey get an apartment: ”I was an upstanding young man, and to his knowledge the only thing I had ever stolen were his scenes.”

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