Strange Interlude (1988)


In this experimental play, first produced in 1928, Eugene O’Neill bares the inner souls of his characters by having them speak their thoughts as well as their dialog. Nins Leeds, the daughter of an Ivy League professor, is devastated by the loss of her fiance in World War I. Ignoring the unconditional love of the novelist Charlie Marsden, she rebounds by marrying an amiable fool, Sam Evans, in the hope that a child will give meaning to the marriage. Nina is thus devastated when she learns a secret know only to Sam’s mother- insanity runs in the family and could be inherited by any child of Sam’s…

Director: Herbert Wise.
Writers: Robert Enders, Eugene O’Neill (play).
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Edward Petherbridge, Kenneth Branagh, David Dukes, José Ferrer, Rosemary Harris, Elizabeth Kelly, Ken Howard, Julie Eccles Jadrien Steele.
Composer: Richard Rodney Bennett.


Many thanks to Trace for sending me a copy of this rare made for TV theatre production.

RIP Glenda Jackson (1936-2023)

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  1. Kevin H Kaufman
    July 27, 2023

    i could not hear it – very disappointed – I love your Site

    • Jon W.
      July 28, 2023

      Hi Kevin,
      What do you mean by ‘could not hear it’? Volume too low for you? or no audio at all? Please let me know.

      Thank you,

    July 29, 2023

    This is such an amazing performance by Jackson. It really shows what made her the penultimate Modernist actor. Bits and pieces of its forceful and often quite artificial (as in “artifice”) styling can be seen in films throughout her career but here it comes out full force. Genius does not begin to describe what she did and here she has excellent support through other fine actors who generously step back and background her display.
    Somewhere, stashed away, I don’t know where at the moment I have the complete original broadcast which has an extra act, some extraneous material at the beginnings of the acts present here and runs about an hour and fifteen minutes longer. If I find it I will let you know, Jon. I don’t understand uploading but I can certainly send you the discs.

    • Jon W.
      July 29, 2023

      Hey Gregory,
      Oh wow, I had no idea a longer version existed, I thought this was the whole thing! I did see that IMDb has a longer runtime listed for it compared to this version that is 3h long but I thought that maybe that was because they included commercials? I think they sometimes list runtime of things as 90 minutes when in reality some tv specials/episodes are actually 60 mins but with 30 mins of commercials to fill the 90 mins slot. Please do let me know if you find those discs, my email is, we can sort out everything else the most important thing is that you actually find them! haha I have movies stored in all kinds of different places both online and offline so I kinda know how that feels, keep me updated please, then I can see if your copy is better quality than this one I’ll just use your copy, if not I’ll combine both to create the best quality copy possible out of the two versions. Thanks so much!
      Take care,

    July 29, 2023

    STRANGE INTERLUDE which is a notorious long haul, ran close to 5 and 1/2 hours (not counting intermissions !!!) when Jackson performed it on stage. PBS’ GREAT PERFORMANCES ran it on two or three consecutive nights commercial free even after judiciously cutting it. That initial version was shown only once and then never appeared again.
    The variant here appeared in a two VHS CASSETTE boxed set about 10 years later.
    Thanks for the email — I’ll let you know when I have rediscovered it.

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