The Iceman Cometh (1973 film)

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The Iceman Cometh
Poster of the movie The Iceman Cometh.jpg
Theatrical release poster (1973)
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Produced by Ely Landau
Written by Eugene O'Neill (play)
Thomas Quinn Curtiss (screenplay)
Starring Lee Marvin
Fredric March
Robert Ryan
Jeff Bridges
Bradford Dillman
Cinematography Ralph Woolsey
Edited by Harold F. Kress
Distributed by American Film Theatre
Release date
  • November 10, 1973 (1973-11-10)
Running time
239 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $800,000[1]

The Iceman Cometh is a 1973 American drama film directed by John Frankenheimer. The screenplay was written by Thomas Quinn Curtiss, based on Eugene O'Neill's 1939 play of the same name. The film was produced by Ely Landau for the American Film Theatre, which presented thirteen film adaptations of plays in the United States from 1973 to 1975.[2]The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but wasn't entered into the main competition.[3]

This was the last film for both Robert Ryan and Fredric March. March developed prostate cancer in 1970, causing him to retire from acting, while Ryan died before the film's release. It was a minute short of four hours in length, and became the first film to have two intermissions.



Frankenheimer later said:

We found the most difficult thing was to cut it. We cut one hour and 20 minutes out of the original, but by the time we'd finished it we'd put back in an hour. It was a marvelous movie - up til now (1974) my best experience. We were like a repertory company; we never wanted it to end. I tried to show Hickey as sane and not the way I've seen him interpreted, as insane. I think you have to live your life without illusions, not with them. Pauline Kael said in her review that you only have to look at photos of O'Neill to see this was a face with no illusions.[4]


Production credits[edit]

  • Associate producer – Les Landau
  • Supervising producer – Robert A. Goldston
  • Casting – Lynn Stalmaster
  • Production Design – Jack Martin Smith
  • Set Decoration – Raphael Bretton
  • Costume Design – Dorothy Jeakins
  • Production executive – Jonathan Burrows

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kilday, G. (October 21, 1973). Movies. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  2. ^ Benson, Raymond (April 16, 2009). "Remember...The American Film Theater". Cinema Retro. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. 
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Iceman Cometh". Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ Fathering a 'Connection' Offspring Blume, Mary. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 01 Sep 1974: m20.

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Iceman Cometh". American Film Institute (AFI). 2003.  Extensive unsigned notes discuss the long history of this production.

External links[edit]