Long Day's Journey into Night review: a 'challenging' play with 'superb' performances

Brian Cox gives a 'magnetic' performance as ageing actor James Tyrone

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Brian Cox in Long Day's Journey into Night

In the ten years since Brian Cox last appeared on the London stage, he has "supercharged his fame", said Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph – thanks to his TV role as Logan Roy, the domineering paterfamilias in Succession. It is apt, then, that he has now taken on "one of the mightiest father figures in the 20th-century American canon" – the ageing, bitter actor James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical masterpiece. 

It's a famously long and challenging play, said Nick Curtis in the Evening Standard . But Jeremy Herrin's production is "full of pathos and ruined grandeur", with uniformly superb performances. Cox is "magnetic as Tyrone, volcanic one moment, maudlin the next"; his "bombastic soliloquies" are "compelling". 

This play is set over one day in 1912 in a rundown summer home in Connecticut, where James and Mary Tyrone and their two adult sons have convened, said Arifa Akbar in The Guardian . It's a "gruelling" experience, as "the family's points of weakness and pain" are revealed, but it's brought to vivid life by Herrin's "stark" production. Cox is "thrilling", but it's Patricia Clarkson as his "morphine fiend" wife who really shines, with a "true, infuriating, compassionate portrait of an addict". There's strong support from Laurie Kynaston as Edmund, a failed poet with tuberculosis, and Daryl McCormack as Jamie, a failed actor and drunk. "This is the ultimate family reckoning, with some light, but mostly shade."

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Alas, the strong performances can't prevent "long-winded confrontations and confessions from slipping into melodrama", as O'Neill "grinds us into submission" over an "achingly slow" evening, said Clive Davis in The Times . The final scene of this "workmanlike" production, where Mary delivers a "crushingly poignant" speech, is desperately moving.

"But it's a long time a-coming." It's a pity this great play wasn't given a more innovative staging, said Andrzej Lukowski in Time Out . While the works of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams have been much reinvented recently, O'Neill's seem resistant to change. This is a tender production, but something of "a museum piece".

Wyndham’s Theatre, London WC2 (0344-482 5151). Until 8 June Running time: 3hrs ★★★

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

The secret is out: Hollywood for much of the past two decades has been hiding a great theater actress in Jessica Lange, and it has taken London's West End to allow her stage gifts to fully shine.

By Matt Wolf

  • Music lessons of the night 18 years ago
  • Hello and goodbye 18 years ago
  • Once in a Lifetime 18 years ago

The secret is out: Hollywood for much of the past two decades has been hiding a great theater actress in Jessica Lange , and it has taken London’s West End to allow her stage gifts to fully shine.

Nearly four years ago, Lange returned, under Peter Hall’s direction, to her 1992 Broadway role as Blanche DuBois — without in any way recycling the earlier performance. That achievement can now be seen as mere preparation for her current and fearsome endeavor, Eugene O’Neill’s Mary Tyrone.

Do Blanche and Mary collectively make Lange the high priestess of pain? Apparently so, and why not: Whether collapsing in loneliness amid the fogbound house Mary will never call home, or transforming herself into the “mad ghost” referred to by husband James (Charles Dance), Lange laces into a marathon assignment with abandon, courage and genuine stage smarts. Indeed, the only real problem posed by her performance is what she could possibly do for an encore. Having inherited two of Jessica Tandy’s defining roles so far, why not make it a hat trick and have a go at Amanda Wingfield? She’s got the gift.

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For now, let’s just be thankful that Lange’s affection for the stage is strong, and for a production from Robin Phillips (directing the play for the third time) that — for all its inconsistencies — knows how to show off its star. That’s not to suggest that this “Long Day’s Journey” is an exercise in vanity, however much this Mary’s doings suggest a seasoned narcissist; if anything, it’s the opposite.

Whereas the West End’s new “Caretaker” seemed content to let Michael Gambon get away with near-murder, the less experienced Lange gives an infinitely more disciplined performance. There hasn’t been a truer, less show-offy local display of distaff bravura since Judi Dench in “Amy’s View.”

Traditionally with this play, one talks first about its Tyrone, the miserly and ill-advisedly acquisitive thespian paterfamilias who presides — often drunkenly — over a dissolute older son, Jamie (Paul Rudd), and a consumptive younger one (Paul Nicholls), not to mention a wife wafting in and out of lucidity even as her mind is wrenched every which way in time. (So undervalued was the Mary in the 1986 Broadway revival, with Jack Lemmon, that co-star Bethel Leslie got a Tony nod in the supporting actress category.)

But it isn’t just Lange’s allure as a visiting film name, the latest of many to hit the London theater this year, that finds her dominating proceedings. There’s something decidedly stolid and — at first, anyway — underpowered about Dance’s robust, silver-haired Tyrone, no matter how much he paws his rattled wife in a liaison that, rather startlingly, still has a clear sexual component.

Dance catches the bitter comedy of a line like, “It’s you who are leaving us,” as he derides the doped-up Mary’s desire to keep her brood forever by her side. But his heavy-lidded demeanor flares into life only in the last of the play’s three acts, during which Mary is heard solely as a foot-heavy phantasm prior to her reappearance at the end. Acknowledging Tyrone’s ruin by the very play that made him (the part, of course, is a thinly veiled sketch of O’Neill’s own actor-father and his career treading the boards in “The Count of Monte Cristo”), Dance eventually reaches the depths of the self-acknowledged hack. “It’s a late day for regrets,” says Tyrone, but Dance does in the end arrive there while nonetheless leaving one in mind of a male lead less prone to the slow burn.

The two Tyrone sons allowed for an indelible double-act back in 1986 from Peter Gallagher (Edmund) and Kevin Spacey (Jamie) in the Jonathan Miller staging that flopped on Broadway before storming London. The present go-round’s pair of Pauls, Rudd and Nicholls, have yet to scorch the stage.

A bearded Rudd, looking heftier than usual, has a rather persistently contempo presence as the gambling cynic Jamie. Nicholls, a British soap opera actor who has impressed before onstage, could dispense with a feeble cough that mars an otherwise fiercely committed rendering of the playwright’s alter ego, Edmund — the Baudelaire-quoting man of feeling who is “a little in love with death.” Like Dance, both boys come into their own in the shared third-act face-off that remains a lastingly honest and brutal assessment of sibling unrest. “I love you more than I hate you,” confesses Jamie, here seen alternately cradling and strangling Edmund. And Rudd pierces the psychic chaos behind Jamie’s avuncular “hi, kid” hail-fellow-well-met rhetoric.

If “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” can be encapsulated at all — Richard Eyre has described it as “the saddest play ever written” — it’s as the seminal commingling of hatred and love. Rudd and Nicholls exactly capture that familial flashpoint, with Jamie on this occasion doing a neat post-confessional jig while awaiting absolution from his hyperventilating aesthete-brother.

Maybe all three men are at their best late on because they no longer have to compete with Lange, who, among other accomplishments, gives the lie to the conception that Hollywood stars soft-pedal their stage personae.

At first, you notice the hands, quietly and unfussily in constant motion and composed of fingers that, says Mary, surveying her body as if it were the enemy, are “ugly … maimed and crippled.” How does this square with the great beauty that was Mary whom James boasts of (and Lange still is)? It’s in tune with her morphine-fueled perceptions that Mary’s sense of her flesh should be as fraught as her aggrieved mind.

As Lange communicates the role, Mary is living a double lie — concerned for her family, Edmund especially, yet a solipsist in matters of the self; anxious for the future and yet forever seduced back into the past. “I’m not (bitter),” she proclaims late in act two, her protestation fair game for someone both victimizer as well as victim.

Much talked-about in that final act, Mary finally retakes her position amid Simon Higlett’s beautiful dreamscape of a set, the blue-gray walls as liquefied and evanescent (there’s a pictureless frame) as its heroine’s shattered psyche. “The mad scene, enter Ophelia,” cracks Jamie, while an increasingly sickly Edmund crawls across the floor in front of his mother.

But Mary has forsaken the here and now as if succumbing to the encroaching New England fog, her shriek at Edmund’s report of his consumption quickly snuffed out. “I was so happy … for a time,” she says dreamily in one of dramatic literature’s most celebrated final lines. And so “Long Day’s” at last closes, as it must, cathartically, borne aloft by a performance one will remember for all time.

Lyric Theater, London; 916 seats; £35 ($50) top

  • Production: A Bill Kenwright presentation of the Eugene O'Neill play in three acts. Directed by Robin Phillips.
  • Crew: Sets and costumes; Simon Higlett; lighting, Paul Pyant; sound, Matt McKenzie. Opened, reviewed Nov. 21, 2000. Running time: 3 HOURS, 35 MIN.
  • Cast: James Tyrone - Charles Dance Mary Tyrone - Jessica Lange James Tyrone Jr. (Jamie) - Paul Rudd Edmund Tyrone - Paul Nicholls Cathleen - Olivia Colman

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Long Day's Journey Into Night

Film details, brief synopsis, cast & crew, jonathan miller, jodie lynne mcclintock, bethel leslie, peter gallagher, jack lemmon, kevin spacey, technical specs.

Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the tragic Tyrone family, presented in a controversial production by Jonathan Miller. Under Miller's direction, the characters interrupt each other much like normal conversation, thereby both shortening and dramatically heightening the action. The production aired as a segment of "Broadway on Showtime," and later as an "American Playhouse" presentation.

kevin spacey long day's journey into night

John L Angier

Emanuel azenberg, barbara barkey, martha benedek, sylvie bonniere, john botelho, jennifer bower, michael brandman, sue brophey, steve cruickshank, chris cummerford, cliff davis, larysa fenyn, juul haalmeyer, trudy haalmeyer, danny harris, jayne harris, martin herzer, patricia hollinger, paul huntley, richard jaris, lindsay law, john mcnally, iris merlis, harley morden, hans muster, eugene o'neill, mike patterson, liz percival, rhianon pulls, chuck reinhart, nolan roberts, gary l smith, tony straiges, al streeter, wayne summers, jack r waldman.

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Long Day's Journey Into Night

About this production.

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  • Opening Night Cast

Tony Award®

Best actor in play, best featured actor in a play, best featured actress in a play, best direction of a play, drama desk award, outstanding actor in a play, outstanding director of a play, outstanding revival, long day's journey into night statistics, more productions by opening date.

kevin spacey long day's journey into night

Long Day's Journey Into Night

kevin spacey long day's journey into night

Jack Lemmon (James Tyrone) Bethel Leslie (Mary Tyrone) Peter Gallagher (Edmund Tyrone) Kevin Spacey (Jamie Tyrone) Jodie Lynne McClintock (Cathleen)

Jonathan Miller

Eugene O'Neill's award-winning and classic play about a day in the life of a dysfunctional family controlled by their addictions gets a staged version made for TV. Past, present, and future discussions about life, human relations, and family problems are all discussed by the Tyrone family from the early hours in the morning up until the final minutes of the night, revealing failures, lost hopes, possible dreams, and all sorts of memories that prevent them from changing their current sad situation.

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Long Day's Journey Into Night

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Originally staged (with these actors) in 1986 at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater (appearing first on Showtime cable television in April 1987, and then for free on PBS stations' American Playhouse series in May 1988), 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' is Eugene O'Neill's award-winning and classic play about a day in the life of a dysfunctional family. Wealthy but unsatisfied former thespian James (Jack Lemmon) lives with his morphine-addict wife, Mary (Bethel Leslie), and their two tormented sons, Jamie (Kevin Spacey) and Edmund (Peter Gallagher). As nightfall approaches, truth and madness fight for control over a family tearing itself apart. A landmark production from theater legend Jonathan Miller, this searing drama is a bold, electrifying powerhouse you'll never forget. (Lemmon was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in Mini-Series or Made-for-TV Movie the following year.)

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Movie Score

April 13, 1987,

Jonathan Miller

Jack Lemmon, Bethel Leslie, Peter Gallagher, Kevin Spacey, Jodie Lynne McClintock

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Long Day's Journey Into Night

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Long day's journey into night.

1987 Directed by Jonathan Miller

Originally staged (with these actors) in 1986 at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theater (appearing first on Showtime cable television in April 1987, and then for free on PBS stations' American Playhouse series in May 1988), 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' is Eugene O'Neill's award-winning and classic play about a day in the life of a dysfunctional family. Wealthy but unsatisfied former thespian James (Jack Lemmon) lives with his morphine-addict wife, Mary (Bethel Leslie), and their two tormented sons, Jamie (Kevin Spacey) and Edmund (Peter Gallagher). As nightfall approaches, truth and madness fight for control over a family tearing itself apart. A landmark production from theater legend Jonathan Miller, this searing drama is a bold, electrifying powerhouse you'll never forget. (Lemmon was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in Mini-Series or Made-for-TV Movie the following year.)

Jack Lemmon Bethel Leslie Peter Gallagher Kevin Spacey Jodie Lynne McClintock

Director Director

Jonathan Miller

Writer Writer

Eugene O'Neill

Original Writer Original Writer

Alternative title.

Dluga podróz w mrok nocy

Releases by Date

13 apr 1987, releases by country.

170 mins   More at IMDb TMDb Report this page

Popular reviews

Collin P

Review by Collin P ★★★

Quick Review:

Eugene O’Neill’s writing is magnificent, but Long Day’s Journey into night is a play I enjoyed reading far more than watching here. The performances are good, but overacted. A great deal of yelling, steamrolling, and verbal cacophonies of interruptions. It feels chaotic but horribly imprecise considering how extensive O’Neill’s stage directions are. You can’t see the smaller details, but the acting feels ignorant of them anyways.

Spacey has little to no warmth as Jamie. It’s a solid performance but in many ways feels as if Lester Burnham of American Beauty has been de-aged. There’s an adequate edge, but the contradiction of his brotherly love and jealousy feels lost. This is a filmed theatre production, but I was expecting far more nuance.

Rating: 3/5

FilmFan1971

Review by FilmFan1971 ★★★★★

This was the play we did for A level English in 1989. For three decades afterwards, I proudly claimed that I’d spotted Spacey’s talent (and Peter Gallagher’s) seven years before Se7en and had noted him in every subsequent bit part (Heartbeat, Working Girl etc). 

Not a claim anyone cares about now, of course, but it was fun while it lasted.

Greg Salvatore

Review by Greg Salvatore ★★★½

This version could be retitled Long Day's Shouting Into Night. Lots of yelling in this interpretation (including the maddest Mary I've seen), but not much love shown until part 2, and then less than other versions. Would've been better with a more nuanced family portrait, even if Bethel Leslie is second only to Hepburn in portraying Mary's complexity (but still nowhere near Hepburn's portrayal of a relapsed addict). The acting is uniformly great, and Peter Gallagher as Edmund avoids the excess shouting and hate of the rest of the cast - I just question the overabundance of anger in a play that is much more than that one emotion.

justatecheese

Review by justatecheese

perhaps it’s merely in comparison to the rest of the cast but peter gallagher’s performance is incredible here

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night review: Brian Cox’s tyrannical Tyrone is a masterclass in impotent rage

G od, this is a miserable play. For three and a half hours, the four members of the Tyrone family – a morphine addict, two alcoholics and a consumptive – shout and mope and recriminate, and director Jeremy Herrin really leans into the misery in his bleak, spare production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece.

So why would anyone want to sit through 210 minutes of such sustained despair? Well, first there’s the acting. It’s one of those plays that needs a mighty pair in the lead roles of James and Mary Tyrone, he a once-famous actor who is now a whiskey-guzzling miser, she a bitter morphine addict. Lesley Manville and Jeremy Irons have done it , so have Charles Dance and Jessica Lange. This time it’s over to American movie star Patricia Clarkson and the beast that is Brian Cox as James, with Cox reminding us all, after the success of Succession , that the stage is his old stomping ground – and it’s where he stomps best.

There’s also the fact that, 85 years after it was written, Long Day’s Journey remains an incredibly astute account of addiction and of the impact it has on a family. “I’ve become such a liar,” says Mary. “I never lied about anything once upon a time. Now I have to lie, especially to myself. One day, long ago, I found I could no longer call my soul my own.”

It’s such a big machine of a play that it takes a while for the wheels to start moving, but once the initial creaks and jerks are out of the way, it’s an unrelenting plummet. It’s all there in the desolation of Lizzie Clachan’s set, three recessing rooms that get gloomier the further back you go. The few bits of furniture are all scrubbed to bare pale wood, the walls a washed-out grey, the lighting increasingly weak and white. With so little there, the production becomes a kind of specimen box, the Tyrone family like creatures under a microscope – and we watch them drive themselves to despair. Herrin turns this into a showcase for Big Acting, with no distractions.

Cox makes Tyrone a tyrant, barking and roaring, flaring into rage at the slightest provocation, simmering down just as quickly, and all the while his family don’t pay him the slightest bit of notice. He rages, Lear-like, impotent, and just as quickly becomes a tender husband, staring with deep love into his wife’s eyes.

Clarkson, meanwhile, has an extraordinary ability to flitter in and out of reality, sometimes just with her eyes. One moment they’re piercing into the person she’s talking to, fully lucid; the next they’re staring blankly as she loses herself in her memories. With just a faint smile, she becomes almost diaphanous, a drifting, spectral presence on stage. You can’t keep your eyes off those two.

Laurie Kynaston and Daryl McCormack take on the roles of the sons, Edmund and Jamie – one a morbid poet, the other a self-loathing alcoholic actor. The way they draw on threads of their parents is clever: Kynaston’s Edmund has some of the swagger of his dad, while McCormack’s Jamie has the same inwardness as his mum. Meanwhile, Louisa Harland (Orla from Derry Girls ) does brilliantly as the Irish maid Cathleen, tuning down some of the elements that can make her character a comic stereotype.

By no means is this a perfect production. The stripped-back approach is really exposing, and there are moments when it doesn’t bear up to the scrutiny, especially in the whiskey-heavy later scenes. You miss the heft, too, when neither Cox nor Clarkson is on stage – less a criticism of the sons than a testament to the hypnotic skill of the parents – and some scenes in the second half feel bum-numbingly long. And it’s not exactly an enjoyable night out at the theatre, either. What it is, though, is very impressive, often mesmerising, and – when it hits right – profoundly moving.

Wyndham’s, until 8 June

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

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Patricia Clarkson and Louisa Harland in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

The week in theatre: Long Day’s Journey Into Night; The Lover/The Collection; The Divine Mrs S – review

Wyndham’s London; Ustinov, Bath; Hampstead, London Brian Cox and, especially, Patricia Clarkson shine as dysfunctional parents in Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical play, David Morrissey brings a bold new register to Pinter, and April De Angelis takes on Sarah Siddons

Long Day’s Journey Into Night shoulders itself on to the stage: shaggy, heavy-footed, a creature of the last century. Yet braying prophetically. Eugene O’Neill wrote the play between 1939 and 1941 as an act of “old sorrow, written in tears and blood”. He didn’t want it performed but his third wife, against his wishes, authorised a posthumous production in 1956. The rawly autobiographical work features a mother addicted to morphine, a father entranced by memories of himself as a classical actor, one tubercular and one alcoholic son; the pain of it can be gauged by the fact that a dead baby is called Eugene. It also provides an unforgettable image of an American mother: a “dope fiend” in a rocking chair.

Brian Cox, ‘strong and bluff’ in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Jeremy Herrin’s production is careful, slowly gathering – and three-and-a-half hours long. The opening scenes are muted, not so much anguished as anxious; Lizzie Clachan’s marine-coloured clapboard design is austere and confined. The great sound of the foghorn out at sea – the key note of a family adrift – is no more than a spectral whisper and the dialogue often falters; when power does switch on, it is at first in the monologues. Solo confessions are the motor of the play but they gain in intensity with a greater sense of family – of inherited and inescapable dysfunction – than there is here. The wounds look grave, not – as they should – fatal.

Yet, oh, the sheer force of writing and of acting: what other dramatist could have come up with the description of “fog people” for characters so stranded from reality and each other, so woozily dreaming about the past? Laurie Kynaston and Daryl McCormack come to spar convincingly as the two uneasily fond brothers. Louisa Harland, of Derry Girls , who was so strong recently in Ulster American , shines as the maid who sees the truth and laughs in its face. Still, the core of the drama is in the parents. Brian Cox, in braces and shirt sleeves, is strong and bluff, good on the hints of the old ham, yet too quick to fire up from the start: his own journey looks insufficiently long, and the echoes of his Succession role too evident (there is even a line about being trapped in a familiar role). Yet Patricia Clarkson brings exceptional subtlety to the role of the mother: lost, manipulative, lying. Delicately vague, she suddenly flashes into vehemence. She provides a heart-stopping moment at the end of the play, which O’Neill considered “the greatest scene I have ever written”. To deliver the final line – a moment of dreamlike radiance – she sits on the edge of the stage and swings her legs up. It is as if she were young again.

Harold Pinter wrote The Lover and The Collection for television, in the early 1960s. They might have been written to contrast with O’Neill’s drama. Short, stripped of explanation, motored by crisp exchanges not by monologues, they teasingly provide an argument for being slightly bewildered in the theatre.

Claudie Blakley and David Morrissey sit together on a couch in The Lover/The Collection.

Sex games are what is mainly happening. Not as in pampas grass and inflatable dolls (though some tom-tom drums are strangely suggestive). This is the winking and bullying, the joyful encouragement and crushing disappointment that couples inflict on each other, not only to gee up bedtime but to find out who they are.

These are more than period pieces but Lindsay Posner directs with an eye to perfect reconstruction of the era. Rightly, since Pinter’s intrigues, though renowned for verbal tautness, are also strewn with visual clues: a giveaway pair of high heels is crucial. The opening line of the evening – “Is your lover coming today?” – depends for its effect on being torpedoed into an utterly respectable sitting room. Peter McKintosh’s set and costumes are immaculate. In The Lover a couple playing a double game have a sofa with two headrests and two cigarette boxes. In The Collection Claudie Blakley is – what better for disguises – a fashion designer, in Mary Quantish bob and geometrically printed tunic. There are touches of Hockney in a vase of tulips.

Blakley uses the distinctive rasp of her voice like a cat’s tongue, caressing but not smooth. She is also excellent at what might be called the Angela Rayner moment, when she crosses her legs and makes the entire audience believe they hear the susurration of her stockings. Mathew Horne of Gavin and Stacey (“Gavin’s in it!” yelped an excited woman on her phone outside the theatre) is also very good: levelly, unreadably blank. And David Morrissey strikes a bold new register. He arrives in a three-piece suit, speaking as if his words too were waistcoated; the smile on his face might be that of a newscaster transmitting calm while about to announce a catastrophe. His slowly crumples into bewilderment. With jokes en route. There is less threat than usual with Pinter: here the playwright puts the spring into enigma.

Rachael Stirling as Sarah Siddons in The Divine Mrs S.

April De Angelis, author 30 years ago of the vivacious Playhouse Creatures about 17th-century English actresses, has alighted on another rich theatrical subject in Sarah Siddons for her new play, The Divine Mrs S . Painted by Joshua Reynolds as the Tragic Muse in 1784, and said by William Hazlitt to excite not so much admiration as wonder, Siddons was an innovative performer and a celebrity caught in the snare of being a working mother at a time when actresses were routinely pawed by their bosses, and women who resisted niceness were considered mad. What time could that have been?

The casting of Rachael Stirling as Siddons puts fire into Anna Mackmin’s fitful production. Stirling draws audiences to her without being clammy. Her wit is instinctive, not simply in the delivery of lines but in the way she holds herself and moves, with a graceful spiralling. It is hard for her to demonstrate the new naturalism of Siddons’s acting, which looks less effortless in the age of the television mutter and twitch, but was a striking contrast to the ritualised 18th-century style demonstrated with panache by Dominic Rowan. As Siddons’s brother, John Philip Kemble, a theatre manager and actor, Rowan yodels his vowels and, with legs bandied and arm aloft, looks as if he is stuck in a perpetual fencing match.

Despite enjoyable episodes of backstage buoyancy, De Angelis’s research can too often be heard pacing heavily behind the action. In danger of being lost amid the whirl of women’s disappointments is the poet and playwright Joanna Baillie (1762-1851), who is commemorated with a plaque near the theatre. Convincingly presented as having been cheated of just acclaim as an “edgy” (De Angelis larks around cleverly with anachronisms) dramatist, Baillie is the most interesting character on stage. Incarnated by Eva Feiler with a fascinating bunched-up intensity, her body seems to be merely a provisional receptacle for the words that need to burst out of her.

Star ratings (out of five) Long Day’s Journey Into Night ★★★ The Lover/The Collection ★★★★ The Divine Mrs S ★★★

Long Day’s Journey Into Night is at the Wyndham’s theatre, London, until 8 June

The Lover/The Collection are at the Ustinov Studio, Bath, until 20 April

The Divine Mrs S is at the Hampstead theatre, London, until 27 April

  • The Observer
  • Eugene O'Neill
  • Patricia Clarkson
  • Harold Pinter
  • Mathew Horne
  • David Morrissey

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New 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' Adaptation Wraps Filming

Jessica Lange and Ed Harris star in the new film version of Eugene O'Neill's play.

Eugene O'Neill 's Pulitzer-winning play Long Day's Journey Into Night is being adapted for the screen once more. A new production starring Jessica Lange and Ed Harris has now wrapped filming, with Deadline reporting that the film, directed by noted theater director Jonathan Kent in his feature debut, has completed production in Ireland.

Lange will star as Mary Tyrone, the morphine-addicted matriarch of the Tyrone family; she previously played the role in 2016 on Broadway in a production also directed by Kent, and earned a Tony for it. Harris will play her husband, James, an aging actor who fears he's led his family into financial ruin. Ben Foster will play their alcoholic ne'er-do-well elder son, Jamie, and Colin Morgan will portray their younger son, the sickly and intellectual Edmund, who was an autobiographical portrait of O'Neill himself. The play depicts one long, contentious day spent at the family's seaside Connecticut home in 1912, as old resentments come to the fore and harsh truths are spoken.

After making her screen debut in the much-maligned 1976 remake of King Kong , Jessica Lange has become one of America's most acclaimed actors, winning Oscars for her roles in Tootsie and Blue Sky . In recent years, she has frequently been featured in the Ryan Murphy anthology series American Horror Story . She can be seen in Neil Jordan 's Marlowe , which will be released in theaters next month. Harris is best-known for his intense performances in The Right Stuff , Apollo 13 , The Truman Show , and A History of Violence ; he also directed himself in the acclaimed biopic Pollock . He recently concluded a multi-season run on the HBO sci-fi drama Westworld . Foster frequently plays unhinged characters, doing so with gusto in Alpha Dog , 3:10 to Yuma , and Hell or High Water ; he can next be seen in Apple's upcoming drama Emancipation . Morgan played the title role in BBC's TV series Merlin , and starred in Kenneth Branagh 's autobiographical Belfast ; he will appear in the upcoming Vicky Krieps historical drama Corsage .

RELATED: Zoey Deutch and Jessica Lange on ‘The Politician’ and Ryan Murphy’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The play, considered O'Neill's finest work when it was published posthumously in 1956, has been staged countless times since its release. It has also adapted for the screen a number of times, most famously in 1962 by Sidney Lumet . That production starred Katharine Hepburn , in a role that netted her an Oscar nomination, as well as Ralph Richardson , Jason Robards , and Dean Stockwell . It was also adapted for TV in 1987, in a production featuring Jack Lemmon , Kevin Spacey , and Peter Gallagher .

Long Day's Journey Into Night is produced by Gabrielle Tana , Bill Kenwright and Gleb Fetisov . David Lindsay-Abaire adapted O'Neill's play for the screen. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.

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Long Day's Journey into Night

1987, Drama, 2h 50m

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A day in the life of a dysfunctional family controlled by its addictions.

Genre: Drama

Original Language: English

Producer: Iris Merlis

Release Date (DVD): May 17, 2005

Runtime: 2h 50m

Cast & Crew

Patricia Fraser

Understudy to Bethel Lesie

Peter Gallagher

Edmund Tyrone

Jack Lemmon

James Tyrone Sr.

Bethel Leslie

Mary Tyrone

Jodie Lynne McClintock

Kevin Spacey

James 'Jamie' Tyrone Jr.

Jonathan Miller

First Assistant Sound

Emanuel Azenberg

Executive Producer

Michael Brandman

Iris Merlis

Gary L. Smith

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Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher, and Bethel Leslie in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987)

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Long Day’s Journey Into Night

  • Theatre, Drama
  • Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road
  • 16 Apr 8 Jun 2024
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Wyndham’s Theatre, 2024

Time Out says

Brian Cox stars in this tender take on Eugene O’Neill’s shattering masterpiece

Having signed his life over to a little show called ‘Succession’ for six years, Brian Cox is both making up for lost time and gleefully cashing in his move from ‘well-respected actor’ to ‘bona fide superstar’. 

Last autumn he warmed up by starring as JS Bach in new play ‘The Score’ at Theatre Royal Bath. And now he returns to the West End for the first time in a decade to headline Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’. 

Hopefully he’s got a bit more in the tank after this, as despite a superb supporting cast, I’d say Cox doesn’t quite nail the role of James Tyrone, the patriarch of a disintegrating family, heavily based on O’Neill’s own dad (the playwright famously refused to allow the play be staged until after his death).

Cox is decent, but I found his performance diffused by the production: director Jeremy Herrin takes a typically forgiving view of the Tyrones, which pays off elsewhere, but I think blunts Cox’s James; a successful actor embittered by creative failure and his failure as a father and husband.

There‘s also another issue: fair or not, it’s hard to shake comparisons to Logan Roy - speaking in the same fruity brogue and in a role that’s very much about a father attempting to relate to his troubled sons who he himself has fucked up, there’s just something a bit… unhelpfu l about the resonance. The men are not the same: James is a frailer figure than the monstrous Logan (he certainly swears a lot less). But aspects of his Logan blur into his James and leave this character a bit lacking in definition. I think even a different accent would have helped.

He is still good, and his performance exerts more of a hold over the role as the play wears on, particularly the scene set in the quiet of the night when a tired James finally confesses his sense of failure to his son Edmund (Laurie Kynaston). 

It is desperately sad

The warmer, more-generous-than-usual direction finds its best outlet in a superlative turn from US actor Patricia Clarkson as James’s wife Mary. She is a character who can come across as waspish and embittered, and rightly so.

But Clarkson has taken a different route: when she’s not loaded on pills, her Mary comes across like a sad, wise ghost. When she tells James that he never allowed their house to feel like a home, or when she brings up his past infidelities, she does so not to wound but to plaintively state the truth of her situation. Even when she’s unable to admit to her family that she is taking pills again, you can understand why she turns to them. She describes a lonely life shackled to James’s career, boxed in by her family’s concern for her, haunted by the death of her second son. When she sinks into a narcotic fug she’s still the same gentle woman, only she has briefly dissolved her unbearable present. It is desperately sad.

In a role that has somehow been recast twice since this production was announced, Kynaston is very solid as a peppy Edmund - his boyishness hasn’t been ruined by booze and bitterness; he’s the most vital member of this moribund family; we believe he might overcome his illness. I liked Daryl McCormack in the smaller-but-vital role of older brother Jamie – he brings a plain-spokenness to the part, and a palpable sense of love and care for Kynaston’s Edmund. Even when he drunkenly admits his darkest thoughts, there’s the sense he’s only doing so because he wants to protect his little brother. There’s also a lovely turn from Louisa Harland as the Tyrones’s sparky Irish maid Cathleen – she’s funny, but moreover, she’s undamaged; there’s something soothing about her brief appearances, a reminder the whole world isn’t as messed up as this family.

Herrin’s warm approach works a little better here than it did with his recent revival of ‘The Glass Menagerie’: it is key to O’Neill’s magnum opus that the Tyrones love each other deeply, regardless of what a disaster they have made of it. 

Still, I’d like to see a bit more daring than a tweak to the acting next time this play is revived. This is the third ‘Long Day’s Journey’ to hit the West End in 12 years, and none have exactly been formally wild. There’s some nifty sound design here from Tom Gibbons – sepulchral fog horns, and subtler ambient sounds – but mostly this is a very straight production. It remains a truly great play, perhaps the greatest American play of them all, but while the masterworks of O’Neill’s peers Miller and Williams have proven ripe for dramatic reinvention in recent years, ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ seems curiously resistant. It’s a daunting play, yes, but it shouldn’t be a museum piece.

Andrzej Lukowski

Dates and times

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 13:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Thu, 18 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Fri, 19 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Sat, 20 Apr 2024 13:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Sat, 20 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Mon, 22 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Tue, 23 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

Wed, 24 Apr 2024 19:00 Wyndham's Theatre £25-£150. Runs 3hrs 30min

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How One Family Lost $900,000 in a Timeshare Scam

A mexican drug cartel is targeting seniors and their timeshares..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

Hello, James.

Hey. How’s it going?

Yeah. I’m not having much luck. So the problem is funding. And all of my money is in Mexico, all of it.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Katrin Bennhold. This is “The Daily.” A massive scam targeting elderly Americans who own timeshare properties has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Mexico.

Once you move forward and make your payment, if anything were to happen, he will directly pay you the full amount of what you’re entitled to, including the gains. He will pay you the full amount.

You’ve got all my money. It’s been sent. I sold a freaking house.

Listen to this. I sold a house that I grew up in so that I could come up with funds to send to Mexico.

I don’t even have anything from the sale, nothing.

My colleague Maria Abi-Habib on one victim who lost everything and the people on the other side of the phone.

That’s it. That’s it. There’s nothing —

You know what? That’s what has been said every freaking time. Every time, just pay this. That releases the funds.

But that’s why we won’t allow it to happen again. This is the last time, James.

It’s Friday, April 12.

Maria, you’ve been looking into this scam that’s targeting Americans. Where did your investigation start?

So several weeks ago, I received a phone call from a lawyer based in St. Petersburg, Florida, who had been contacted by a family who was very concerned that the father, this man named James, was in the middle of being scammed. He’d sent hundreds of thousands dollars to Mexico. And he was considering sending another $157,000 when his daughter decided to call up this law firm and try to get her father to stop, stop sending money to Mexico.

So I called him a few weeks ago as I was trying to understand what was going on.

Hi, James. How are you?

Good. Thank you.

He’s asked that his last name be withheld for privacy concerns because he’s quite embarrassed about the story that I’m about to tell you.

You’re retired now, but what were you doing for work? And if your wife was working, what was her job?

I was with the Highway Patrol.

James is a retired state trooper from California. And his wife Nikki is a former school nurse.

She was born in ‘51. So 71-ish.

Two. She’s just reminded me, 72.

And they’re both in their early 70s. And they own this timeshare that is in Lake Tahoe, California. And they bought it in the 1990s for about $8,000.

And for someone who did not grow up vacationing in a timeshare, remind me how exactly timeshares work.

Timeshares are essentially vacation properties. And they tend to be beach resorts. And multiple people can buy into this property. The ownership is a shared ownership. And this gives you the right to use the timeshare for one to two weeks out of every year.

And so James and Nikki used their timeshare every other year with their daughters. But as they hit retirement age and their daughters are growing up and starting their own families, they’re just not really using it that much anymore. And timeshares require the owners to pay off yearly maintenance fees. And so they’re starting to think about maybe letting go of their timeshare and selling it.

Then one day, in late 2022, James gets a phone call from a company that is purporting to be based out of Atlanta, Georgia called Worry Free Vacations.

Worry Free Vacations?

That sounds enticing.

Yeah. And they start off with a simple question, which is, do you want to buy a timeshare? And James says, I already have a timeshare. And then they say, great. Well, what about selling the timeshare? Do you want to sell? There’s this Mexican businessman, and he’s interested in your timeshare. And he’s willing to buy it for about $20,000.

So we figured, well, what the heck? If we can make a few bucks on it, we’ll go for it.

And James jumps at the opportunity.

And did he do anything to try and verify that this was real?

Yeah. So remember, James is former law enforcement. And he feels very confident in his abilities to sniff out untrustworthy people. So he goes online, and he googles this Mexican businessman and sees that, yeah, he is a real person.

He’s a very well-respected individual in Mexico, very well off. And —

And this makes James feel at ease, that he’s selling to a legitimate person, that Worry Free Vacations are who they claim to be and that he’s going to double his money overnight, essentially.

And what happens next?

Well, a couple of weeks after he makes the agreement with the buyer, he’s told that he needs to send a couple thousand dollars to facilitate the purchase.

What does that mean, facilitate?

[MUSIC PLAYING]

I can’t remember specifically whether it was supposed to be cross-border registration —

So he’s being told that there are these fees that are paid directly to the Mexican government.

Or SPID or some other fee that was Mexican government required or not.

A lot of these fees are the same types of fees that you would pay in the United States for a real estate transaction. So he begins wiring money to an account in Mexico.

After that —

— a few days later, we get a notification. Well, everything went well, except that we have to pay an additional fee.

Every time that he sends one fee, he’s being told that he’s got to send another fee right afterwards.

Does he get suspicious at any point?

His wife is suspicious. After the first couple of payments, she starts saying, this does not feel right.

But James is the former law enforcement officer, right? And he’s the one that basically handles the family finances. And he’s confident that all of this is going to work out because he’s being told that the buyer of the timeshare will reimburse James for all of these fees once the sale goes through.

Michael from the Worry Free Vacations was constantly reassuring me the money’s in that account. Check with the commercial escrow account. It’s there. It’s just these fees have to be paid, and you’re being reimbursed for all of this.

They’re sending James documents that show all of the reimbursements that he’s owed and how much money he’s going to get. And this just makes him feel like all of this is kosher.

We have this commercial escrow company that was involved out of New York. So there was an air of legitimacy that I was comfortable with.

Maybe OK, these guys just need one more fee and everything is going to finally be cleared.

But about a year in, James starts to get suspicious. He begins asking questions because he wants his money.

And every time I asked, hey, is there a way I can get a partial release of these funds, there was always no, these funds have to be paid from your account before they’re released.

But Worry Free Vacations, they pivot. And they tell him that, listen, there are all these complications. It’s going to be really hard to get your money out from this transaction.

I could pay about $30,000 and change to reinvest the $313,000 into an environmentally-conscious development in Loreto, Mexico.

Instead, we’ve got this other investment opportunity in Mexico.

And I’m sure you know where that is, over on the East Coast of Baja.

And that is going to make you a huge return, even more money than you had thought that you were going to make, much more than the $20,000.

I’m supposed to have 54 million pesos in a Mexican bank account.

So this is now no longer just about his timeshare. They are now partners in a real estate investment.

Right. And there’s this whole new round of fees and fines associated with that.

So how many payments would you say?

Quite a few. Couple dozen at least, maybe more.

When was your last payment?

It would have been 17 January.

Uh-huh. And what was that for?

Good question.

And all along, he believed it was necessary to pay these costs just to get the money that he’s owed.

The amount of money that I’ve sent to Mexico is just freaking exorbitant. And I mean, it is approaching $900,000 or more.

And at this point, he’s sent about $900,000 to Mexico over about a year and a half.

Nearly $1 million.

That was almost all the money that he and his wife had saved for their retirement.

It also included money from the sale of James’s childhood home and money that he had borrowed from his daughter and son-in-law, about $150,000 from them.

It’s awful. So they were completely cleaned out by these guys.

Yeah. And this is when his daughter asks a law firm to look into this, which is the point in the story when I meet James. And when we start talking, it was clear to me that he just did not know what to think, even after losing this much money.

So this started in 2022. When did it end?

We’re still in it.

And he’s still talking to the scammers.

And as a matter of fact, presently, there was a request for $157,000 and change to clear up this whole thing. It would clear the entire issue out. Now —

And James is even considering putting a second mortgage on his house to send that money that he’d been promised would finally clear all this up — one final payment of $157,000.

It really sounds like he’s still wanted to believe that this was somehow legit.

Yeah. It was pretty clear to me that he was being scammed. But I didn’t definitively know what was going on, so I asked him if he could start recording his phone calls with the scammers.

Would you be so kind as to do me a favor?

Would you be willing to give them a call and record them?

[LAUGHS]: I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been recording them.

And it turns out he already had been.

Worry Free Vacations.

So he shared the recordings of these calls that he’d had with these scammers over the last year or so. And it was just remarkable. It gave me huge insight into how the scam worked and the way that it sounded over the phone.

Is this is Michael in? I think he’s trying to call me. I couldn’t get through pick up.

Yes, I believe he did try to call you, sir. Give me a second. I think he’s only going to be in for a couple of minutes. One second.

There are two main takeaways for me listening to these calls.

Good afternoon. Michael McCarthy.

Michael, I missed your call. I was trying to pick up.

Yeah, don’t worry. Yeah, I figured something was wrong with your phone. Everything OK?

The first is that these scammers had really gotten to know James so well, and they really made James believe that Worry Free was a company that was working for him.

That’s why we need to hurry up and get this money over to you. Because hey, I’m losing my mind too. I’m not even here to convince you, James. I’m not — I’m your broker, and —

One of the things they continuously say is, trust me.

Look, I’m doing everything I can in my power and will on my end. So James, just look — like I told you from the get-go, I’m going to resolve this. And we are doing it. I just need you to focus on the goal.

They would refocus the conversation on what James needed to do to get his money back.

Look, if you make your payment as a security deposit, right away they will release the funds to you. With these —

And the other thing —

I’ve been having so much trouble trying to reach you, and I have not been successful.

— is that the scammers had created this elaborate cast of characters.

Why don’t you answer my calls?

And some of them were really aggressive. James shared a recording of this one man who claimed to be an agent for the Mexican government. And he basically started yelling at James.

I don’t care if your wife is at the hospital. To be honest with you, I don’t give a damn! But you know where I do give a damn? It’s your money, and my name is written all over it! Do you understand?

And he even threatened James. If James didn’t pay off these fines, then he would lose all the money that he’d sent to Mexico already.

You could get the best lawyer you want. You could get whoever you want. And this is not a threat. This is facts. But anyways, who am I to convince you, right?

Well, thank you for the information. And — are you still there? Hello?

Wow. So these scammers were basically doing a good cop, bad cop routine to stop James from walking away and to squeeze every last penny out of him.

If you provide me your email, contact information, I will certainly be happy to forward all of the wire transfer information from my bank account to you so that you can see where those funds went.

Yeah, that would be great. I have your email.

James asks me, a reporter who’s based in Mexico, who speaks the language, if I could help him figure out where his money had gone to.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate your assistance.

I’m just doing my job. Thanks again, and we’ll talk soon.

And the only way that I could figure that out was to understand who was on the other side of the phone.

We’ll be right back.

So Maria, who was on the other side of that phone line?

So by the time that I’d met James, I’d already gotten a tip from US law enforcement agencies that they were seeing a new trend. Mexican drug cartels were getting involved in the timeshare scam industry.

Drug cartels?

Yeah. And not just any drug cartel. This is one of the most notorious, violent, bloody drug cartels that exists in Mexico and Latin America, the Jalisco New Generation cartel. And when I looked at James’s bank records, guess what? All the money that he was sending was going to various bank accounts that were all located in Jalisco state in Mexico.

Wow. So why would the drug cartels get into the timeshare scamming business?

It is a huge business. The FBI told me that it’s about $300 million in profits over the last five years.

But the thing is is that the potential for it to actually be multitudes more is huge. Because the FBI estimates that most of the scams are actually not even reported. In fact, only about 20 percent are. So that means the total timeshare scam business could actually be much larger than the $300 million that they have knowledge of over the last five years.

But wait. I thought the drug business was a pretty lucrative business in itself. So why get into the scamming of elderly people for their properties in Lake Tahoe?

Well, you have to remember that these drug cartels, they’re not just doing one thing. They’re doing multiple things. They’re essentially conglomerates. Because it’s really expensive to run a cartel. You need to pay off officials, both Mexican and American. You need to maintain basically an army in order to secure your routes up to the United States, ports of entry into Mexico from Colombia. And any big business, you need to diversify your income to make sure that you keep the money flowing. Because you never know when one business is going to be shut down by authorities or taken over by your rivals.

We’ve reported that they’re now in the avocado business and the construction business. And timeshare fraud is basically no different than any of those. So we’re seeing that the cartels have their fingers in many pies, the legitimate and the illegitimate economy here in Mexico.

It’s kind of fascinating to think of these drug cartels as like sprawling diversified business empires. But when did the cartels first get into the scamming business?

So Jalisco New Generation started about 15 years ago.

And when they started to consolidate their empire in Jalisco state, they found that there were all these scam timeshare call centers all over the state that were being run by various players, and that this was a huge, huge moneymaker. Because essentially, all you have to do is call up retired senior citizens in the US and Canada. It doesn’t take that much money to run that kind of a scheme. There’s no product you’re making.

So essentially, they conducted a hostile takeover of these call centers. They went in. They kicked down doors and dragged out the people who were managing these call centers by their hair and threatened to kill them unless they gave up the call centers or started handing over a cut of what they made. And slowly, slowly Jalisco New Generation cartel took over the entire timeshare fraud industry.

Interesting. Were you able to find any of these call centers?

So these call centers are pretty hard to find. They look like any other storefront. But I was able to visit two that were located in an upscale neighborhood in Guadalajara, which is the capital of Jalisco state. And it was just really perturbing because it was just so normal. Two villas about a mile away from each other outside. Outside of one villa, parents were walking by, holding their children’s hands as they did drop off at school.

It was right next to a park where people taking their morning exercise or their dogs for a walk. There was no real sign that the cartel was doing business there. But a few months before, Mexican law enforcement had found the bodies of eight young people who had used to work at one of these call centers and said that the Jalisco cartel had killed them.

Wow. What happened?

So I wasn’t able to talk directly to any of the victims’ families. They’re just too scared. But in general, this is usually how it starts.

The cartel seeks out English speakers to work for their call centers. Sometimes they don’t even tell them what exactly they are doing. They would tell the recruits that the job was adjacent to the hotel industry.

You have to remember, Jalisco is a huge, huge tourism magnet for Americans and Canadians and others. And the cartel would get their call lists from bribing hotel employees to give them the names of people who stayed at these hotels and also at the timeshare resorts. And the people who would work at the call centers are provided the names and a manual of what you need to do when you call, like a loose script of how to try to suck as much money as you can out of these people up North in Canada and the States.

So we don’t know for sure what exactly happened with the eight young Mexicans who were killed last year. But through an intermediary, one sibling told us that when their family member knew what their job actually was, they became extremely uncomfortable and tried to leave the call center and find another job maybe.

But the Jalisco New Generation cartel is known for being extremely brutal. They chop off heads, and they’ll put them on the gates of a playground, for instance. So that everybody in the neighborhood knows what went down. And in this case, it’s possible that they wanted to send a warning that there’s no defection from their timeshare call centers.

So basically making a very scary example of these guys, in case anyone else is thinking about quitting one of the call centers.

Exactly. And one man, who runs an organization who advocates for missing people and actually organizes search parties to comb the forests of Jalisco state looking for the missing, says that he knows of about 30 people who have disappeared from the call centers in Jalisco state since 2017. So while Americans and Canadians might be losing much of their life savings, in Mexico, this is actually deadly.

Are the authorities doing anything about this?

Not really, other than the fact that these two call centers were shut down. The authorities haven’t arrested others. They’re not putting pressure on Mexican banks, for instance, to look into these payments coming from senior citizens in the US or Canada. And you have to remember that people are really afraid. But you also have to remember that in Mexico things are not that clear. There is a lot of corruption and government collusion with organized crime and cartels.

And the tourism industry, it is huge in Mexico and particularly in Jalisco state. This is a multi-billion dollar industry. They don’t want Americans or Canadians or Europeans who are coming to Jalisco for its beautiful beaches and its mountains to hear about these stories regarding the cartels being involved in the tourism industry and think, I’m not going to send my family there for that beach vacation. It’s just simply too dangerous.

So everybody has an incentive to have the scam continue, whether because they’re too afraid and don’t want to speak out or because they’re in on it.

So in a way, local authorities have an interest in sweeping it under the carpet in order to just maintain this idea of a tourist destination.

Exactly. I mean, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office was very responsive to me until I told her what I wanted to ask her questions about. And then she just simply never answered any of my texts or phone calls.

So Maria, based on everything you know, all the information you have, would you say that you’re confident that the cartels were the ones who scammed James?

Yes, 100 percent. Everything I’ve seen points in that direction.

What did James say when you told him this?

So it took him quite a while to really allow himself to believe it. On the advice of his lawyers, he stopped picking up the phone calls. And about a week ago, they stopped after the scammers kept trying to call him.

But you said he was in it for over a year. Why do you think it took him so long?

Can you tell me, after all of that had been presented to you, why do you think you weren’t willing to be entirely convinced?

Well, I actually asked him that question.

That’s a very good question. Why wasn’t I able to pick up on that right away? And I think in the back of my mind, I’m finding out that I’m a little more stubborn than I thought I was.

And for him, it was pretty complicated.

And I think that I didn’t want to believe that I had fallen for this. I didn’t feel I was that foolish and stupid when it came to this. You know? I guess I didn’t want to believe that I could be fooled.

To come to terms with the fact that he had lost so much money was to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t the person that he thought that he was, that he wasn’t this kind of clever former law enforcement officer who was used to fighting the bad guys and winning.

I’m disappointed in myself. There’s a huge level of anger towards the perpetrators. And all of those things wrapped into one. And part of that, I think, contributes to not wanting to actually believe that I was wrong.

Hmm. Yeah, I hear you. I’m sorry. I can hear the pain in your voice.

[LAUGHS]: Yeah.

Some of it’s based on shame, right? That he lost all this money, everything that he’s worked for, and the fact that this was all supposed to be money that his children and his grandchildren were going to inherit. And now it’s gone.

And have you told your daughter that you think you’ve come to terms with the fact that this might have been a scam?

Oh, she’s been involved. Yeah. They know.

My daughter does.

I’m sorry. This is a tough time.

So I’ve got to make some sort of arrangement to compensate them for this on top of our regular debt. So yeah. It’s been a swell experience, all of it brought on by my — evidently, my stubbornness to believe that I couldn’t possibly be a victim.

How’s your wife doing throughout this whole process, with this new knowledge?

She’s not real happy, obviously, at all. I hear a lot of “I told you so.” And at this point, I’ve got no defense. She’s absolutely right. There’s no question about it.

Do you worry this is going to affect your marriage?

Yes, there has been an effect.

And do you think that at this point there’s any way for James and his family to get some kind of justice or at least find some kind of closure?

Ay. Justice? Unlikely.

At this point, I’m not necessarily expecting much in the way of restitution.

And as for closure, it’s a little bit too soon to tell. In a way, James has gone through several stages of acceptance for what happened. There’s fear. There’s shame. There’s resignation. And now he’s talking to me partly because he feels like it’s a public service, that he needs to be vocal so that other people don’t go through what he’s gone through and fall for the scam. And I think it also helps him feel a little bit empowered in a situation for over the last year and a half he was at the mercy of these people who were calling him multiple times a week.

I want to try to get as much information to as many of these official organizations as possible. I have a streak of anger through me now that I’ve developed to the point where I’m not going to let this go.

Well, Maria, thank you.

Thank you for having me.

Here’s what else you need to know today. OJ Simpson, the football star who was accused and later acquitted of murdering his former wife and her friend, died of cancer at his home in Las Vegas, his family said Thursday. He was 76.

Today’s episode was produced by Astha Chaturvedi and Will Reid, with help from Clare Toeniskoetter and Lindsay Garrison. It was edited by Brendan Klinkenberg and Michael Benoist, contains original music by Marion Lozano, Rowan Niemisto, Dan Powell, Pat McCusker, and Will Reid, and was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

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Warning: this episode contains descriptions of violence.

A massive scam targeting older Americans who own timeshare properties has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars sent to Mexico.

Maria Abi-Habib, an investigative correspondent for The Times, tells the story of a victim who lost everything, and of the criminal group making the scam calls — Jalisco New Generation, one of Mexico’s most violent cartels.

On today’s episode

kevin spacey long day's journey into night

Maria Abi-Habib , an investigative correspondent for The New York Times based in Mexico City.

A man in a plaid shirt and a woman wearing a red sweater are linking arms looking away from the camera. They are standing outside on a lawn with trees in the distance.

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How a brutal Mexican drug cartel came to target seniors and their timeshares .

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  1. Long Day's Journey into Night

    Long Day's Journey into Night is a play in four acts written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1939-1941 and first published posthumously in 1956. ... Bethel Leslie (Mary), Kevin Spacey (Jamie), Peter Gallagher (Edmund), and Jodie Lynne McClintock (Cathleen), directed by Jonathan Miller. A television version of this production was ...

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    Long Day's Journey Into Night. ... In Cold Blood), and their two tormented sons, Jamie (Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects) and Edmund (Peter Gallagher, TV's The O.C.). As nightfall approaches, truth and madness fight for control over a family tearing itself apart. A landmark production from theater legend Jonathan Miller, this searing drama is a ...

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    Long Day's Journey Into Night. ... In Cold Blood), and their two tormented sons, Jamie (Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects) and Edmund (Peter Gallagher, TV's The O.C.). As nightfall approaches, truth and madness fight for control over a family tearing itself apart. A landmark production from theater legend Jonathan Miller, this searing drama is a ...

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    Long Day's Journey Into Night. 2h 45m 1987. Overview; Synopsis; Credits; Film Details; Brief Synopsis. Read More. ... Kevin Spacey Film Details. Also Known As. American Playhouse (05/04/88), Broadway on Showtime (04/13/87) Genre. Adaptation. Drama. Release Date. 1987 ...

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    ABOUT THIS PRODUCTION. The living room of the Tyrones' summer home. August 1912. Long Day's Journey Into Night (Revival, Play, Drama, Broadway) opened in New York City Apr 28, 1986 and played through Jun 29, 1986.

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  11. Long Day's Journey Into Night

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  12. Cast of Long Day's Journey Into Night Talks Their Opening Night

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  14. Long Day's Journey Into Night

    Originally staged (with these actors) in 1986 at Broadway's Broadhurst Theater (appearing first on Showtime cable television in April 1987, and then for free on PBS stations' American Playhouse series in May 1988), 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' is Eugene O'Neill's award-winning and classic play about a day in the life of a dysfunctional family.

  15. Long Day's Journey Into Night

    Originally staged (with these actors) in 1986 at Broadway's Broadhurst Theater (appearing first on Showtime cable television in April 1987, and then for free on PBS stations' American Playhouse series in May 1988), 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' is Eugene O'Neill's award-winning and classic play about a day in the life of a dysfunctional family. Wealthy but unsatisfied former thespian James ...

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  21. Kevin Spacey

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    A new West End revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night officially opened at Wyndham's Theatre April 2, and the reviews are in. The limited engagement began previews March 19 and ...

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  26. Long Day's Journey into Night (disambiguation)

    Long Day's Journey into Night (1987 film), television adaptation starring Jack Lemmon, Bethel Leslie, Peter Gallagher and Kevin Spacey. Long Day's Journey into Night (1996 film), Canadian adaptation. Long Day's Journey into Night (2018 film), Chinese film unrelated to the play.

  27. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987)

    Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher, Bethel Leslie, and Jodie Lynne McClintock in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1987)

  28. Long Day's Journey Into Night

    Brian Cox stars in this tender take on Eugene O'Neill's shattering masterpiece. Having signed his life over to a little show called 'Succession' for six years, Brian Cox is both making up ...

  29. How One Family Lost $900,000 in a Timeshare Scam

    A Mexican drug cartel is targeting seniors and their timeshares. Hosted by Katrin Bennhold. Produced by Asthaa Chaturvedi and Will Reid. With Clare Toeniskoetter and Lynsea Garrison. Edited by ...