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All My Sons
American Playhouse Wszyscy moi synowie (1981– )
TV Episode
Two families, related by friendship and love, face up to the consequences of greed and avarice in the post-war years. Love and death play equal roles in determining the outcome of events.
Casts
Episode cast overview:
Joan Allen Joan Allen - Ann Deever
Michael Learned Michael Learned - Kate Keller
Aidan Quinn Aidan Quinn - Chris Keller
James Whitmore James Whitmore - Joe Keller
Zeljko Ivanek Zeljko Ivanek - George Deever
Joanna Miles Joanna Miles - Sue Bayliss
Alan Scarfe Alan Scarfe - Dr. Jim Bayliss
Layne Coleman Layne Coleman - Frank Lubey
Mary Long Mary Long - Lydia Lubley
Marlow Vella Marlow Vella - Burt

American Playhouse Wszyscy moi synowie (1981– )

The original Broadway production of "All My Sons" opened at the Coronet Theater in New York on January 29, 1947, ran for 328 performances and won the 1947 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play for the author Arthur Miller. His original script was used as the basis for the screen play for the movie version.

Burilar
Burilar
For acting students and for all theatre enthusiasts, this must surely be compulsory viewing. This version is a staged play and in no way should be judged as a movie. As a filmed play its pure theatrical magic.

Arthur Miller wrote some wonderful plays in his time and this is certainly amongst the best. This production is blessed with a cast of superb performers. It's pure joy watching consummate artists at their craft. James Whitemore and Michael Learned in particular are outstanding, as is a young Joan Allen.

A riveting and deeply emotional experience awaits.
Bumand
Bumand
The second TV version of Arthur Miller's first successful play puts a highly talented group of actors together and gives them the gift of good staging, inspired direction, and a thorough understanding of what the play is about. As often happens with Miller, family members war with each other due to mutual misunderstanding and an emotional experience ensues before a resolution of sorts.

The problematic family here are the Kellers, headed by veteran actor James Whitmore as dad Joe and Walton mum Michael Learned as mum Kate. Their children are played by the impossibly blue-eyed Aidan Quinn as Chris, Zeljko Ivanek (who never did quite make it in movies) as George, and Joan Allen (who would appear in The Crucible a decade later on the big screen) as Ann.

An interesting play in a good adaptation, although with no sense of cinema or television ('The Crucible' would be a good example of what the cinema could add to Miller's work). But with acting and writing this good, it is fabulous just to have a permanent record, whether you are a student of Arthur Miller's plays or not.
Legionstatic
Legionstatic
What a supremely expert and well-balanced cast, and what a beautiful capturing on film of the experience of watching an excellent play production. I say 'beautiful' although the pain of a son's disappearance in the Pacific three years earlier, and the events of two families' lives since then, are overwhelmingly painful to an audience.

I used this production for eighteen years while teaching All My Sons to senior high school Dramatic Arts students, and have seen it make them weep with sorrow and understanding at each playing. The ensemble virtuosity of Michael Learned, James Whitmore, Aidan Quinn, and Joan Allen motivated my students more powerfully than any other examples of acting which I was able to provide for them.

I have had the pleasure of paying my compliments in person to Layne Coleman, who plays neighbour Frank Lubey, when he was performing in David Mamet's "Oleanna" in Kingston, and to Michael Learned when she was in Toronto performing on stage in Edward Albee's "Three Women". Miss Learned told me that her performance as Kate Keller in this production was the work for television of which she was most proud. I still wish for an opportunity to pass this praise along to Mr Quinn and Miss Allen.

Watch this production of "All My Sons" to see the way in which the forms and energies of classical tragedy - the 'disease', the search for a healing act, the faith in the stars, the power of Nemesis - are blended seamlessly with a Shakespearean understanding of the failure of human imagination. Watch to see a cluster of actors at the height of their powers who achieve the miracle of making a work of art new half a century after its creation.
Tojahn
Tojahn
Set in the boom years following WWII, I missed this little gem when it originally aired in 1986. As soon as I learned that James Whitmore was in the cast, I knew I was guaranteed a brilliant performance. No disappointment there. Don't confuse the title, "All My Sons" with the almost 50 year old Fred MacMurray sitcom of the same name. The resemblance stops there. It was nice seeing the accomplished Michael Learned again, this time in the role of Joe Keller's(James Whitmore's)wife. I particularly enjoyed the intense interaction between James Whitmore's character and 'George'. Not to be overlooked is the performance by the young actor portraying Joe Keller's son, Aiden Quinn. No unnecessary chit-chat filler dialog, every word carefully chosen to lure the audience to the shocking conclusion. I would be remiss in not mentioning Joan Allen's performance as the strong willed Ann Deever, sweetheart of Joe Keller's long missing in action other son. It was no surprise when I learned after the viewing that it was a TV adaptation of an Arthur Miller play. It was great watching the master at work. James Whitmore could act more with a facial expression or a gesture, than a lesser actor with 10 pages of dialog. Cast him in a work like this, and you have cinema magic!
Gogul
Gogul
I recently had the privilege of experiencing this script for the first time. I found it compelling, heartbreaking, sweet, and funny at times. If you believe in Miller's concept of the Modern Tragedy (which everyone should acknowledge it's existence)then you must see this movie. Hard to find but worth it's weight in Gold!!
Cha
Cha
This is a very well made version of one of Miller's earliest plays and uses a very limited set. The acting is exceptional, particularly Aidan Quinn and Joan Allen as the young couple and James Whitmore as the complex father. The exchanges between father and son are very well acted and believable. The cast, even the fairly minor characters, perform well. If anyone is put off the work of Miller by the Crucible or Death of a Salesman they should view this. There is humour in between the drama, particularly from the doctor's wife and scenes of real emotion, particularly the exchanges between George and Chris and later between Chris and his father. Well worth watching.
Qucid
Qucid
This American Playhouse TV version of Arthur Miller's classic drama is the best I've seen. And I've seen a lot. From off-Broadway to Community College performances, and everything in between. James Whitmore is perfectly cast as Joe Keller. His hang-dog manner is much better suited to the role than any other I have seen; certainly better than Edward G. Robinson's tough-guy approach in the 1948 film version. Joan Allen is also a perfect choice for the role of Ann. Both she and Aidan Quinn run the gamut of emotions without ever losing authenticity. Michael Learned is one of few actresses I've seen able to pull off the tough role of Kate without seeming silly or disturbed.

Fortunately for me, I wisely recorded, on VHS, the one and only PBS broadcast of this version in my area. It appears to only be available in VHS, and at exorbitant collectible prices.
Vizuru
Vizuru
This fascinating video of Arthur Miller's first Tony winner ("Best Play" and "Best Director" 1948) ALL MY SONS, is just about perfectly cast with a solid line-up of Broadway stars, and even more interesting viewed in tandem with the fine May 1948 Hollywood movie of the play.

Some of the timeliness of the morally byzantine piece about honesty and family loyalty in an immediate post-war setting has faded with the years: the father was convicted, with his partner, of shipping defective aircraft parts leading to the death of dozens of pilots but later - apparently - exonerated, his own pilot son is missing in action presumed killed, his wife in deep denial and his younger son looking to marry the girlfriend of his late brother, the daughter of his father's still imprisoned partner. Yet Miller's dialogue and feeling for his characters trying to find their way back to some kind of normalcy under Jack O'Brien's sensitive direction still hits all the right emotional notes.

Miller would dig deeper and find more universal truths in his second hit and great contribution to American dramatic literature, 1949's DEATH OF A SALESMAN, but the disintegration of Joe Keller's world (the father) remains just as affecting as the audience is drawn to ask what they would have done in the place of any of the characters.

James Whitmore's Joe is, as noted, a fascinating contrast to the originals of Ed Begley on stage or Edward G. Robinson on screen. He plays the role with just as much nervous subtext (beautifully matched by Michael Learned as his wife - who knows more than she will admit), but Whitmore is a lighter, seemingly younger actor, and the audience may find it easier to identify and sympathize closely with him as the play starts - making the contrast as darker layers are revealed all the starker.

The young Aiden Quinn's surviving son (his second major TV role after the lead in LONG TIME COMPANION and a featured part in the big screen's DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN) is certainly as well matched with Joan Allen as the girlfriend (also early in her career - like Zeljko Ivanek as her brother, George. The following year she would be the break-out lead in Broadway's BURN THIS; he had already had the lead in Neil Simon's BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS). Far more than the sturdy Burt Lancaster in the '48 movie, Quinn lets the audience closer to the tortured son of parents in crisis with crises of his own.

If the play (Tony Award notwithstanding) is second tier Miller in its ovelayering of issues, this preservation is absolutely first tier. Issued on VHS but too long out of print, it should be made available on DVD for every library and university in the country. It's close to required viewing for any serious student of American theatrical history.
Road.to sliver
Road.to sliver
I was learning this play in highschool. I watched it after we read the play in class. I found this movie very boring and slow, unlike the play. My advice to you is to try and find a better version, on cinema or stage. This movie gave me a bad impression and I wouldn't like the same thing to happen to other people.