The Iceman Cometh
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This site gives you everything you ever wanted to know about the man responsible for bringing realism to the American stage. Find history, fun facts, production news, and a whole lot more.
The Nobel Prize is not the easiest thing to come by. Check out what the Nobel folks have to say about Mr. O’Neill. He snagged the big award in 1936.
Get a good look at the challenges The Iceman Cometh presents even to veteran actors and directors as they staged a revival of the play at Chicago’s famous Goodman Theatre.
The man got a Broadway theatre named after him. Find out what’s playing there now.
It’s cold. It’s tough. It’s got nothing to do with the play. It’s the 29-mile bike race known as the Iceman Cometh Challenge.
Movie or TV Productions
TV movies used to be big business, and plays used to make great television. The first film adaptation of The Iceman Cometh was made for TV and aired in two parts in 1960. It’s basically a filmed version of the stage play, so it stays true to the source. It starred Jason Robards as Hickey and a young actor named Robert Redford as Parritt. Not everyone knew of Redford at the time, but he was on the brink of becoming one of the most famous actors/directors that Hollywood has ever known.
The 1973 film version of The Iceman Cometh marks another break-through for a young actor who would go on to do great things. Jeff Bridges (a.k.a. Jeff Lebowski, a.k.a. The Dude, a.k.a. Flynn from Tron) plays Don Parritt. The legendary Lee Marvin plays Hickey, and the equally legendary John Frankenheimer directs. This is a movie with two intermissions. It’s long, bleak, and very faithful to O’Neill’s play.
Articles and Interviews
Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf talk about the trials and tribulations of actors taking on O’Neill.
Interviews with O’Neill aren’t the easiest thing to come by. This 1922 magazine article and interview pre-dates The Iceman Cometh, but it gives great insight into O’Neill’s background.
Can you even stage a decent production of an O’Neill play these days, or will you lose all of your actors because they are dedicated to doing really important work like TV commercials? The Onion explores this question in “Production Of 'Iceman Cometh' Canceled Due To Entire Cast Getting Called Back For Axe Body Spray Commercial.”
Video of Kevin Spacey as Hickey in the 1999 Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh. His Hickey is part salesman, part evangelist speaking to his congregation.
Jason Robards, who played Hickey on stage and TV, talks about the beauty and difficulty of acting in O’Neill’s plays in Ric Burns’s Eugene O’Neill documentary.
This brief video sets up Hickey’s big speech. At about 1:19 into the clip, Al Pacino recites Hickey’s confession to the group.
Nathan Lane as Hickey and Brian Dennehy as Larry battle it out at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
This video/trailer goes behind the scenes of the Goodman Theatre production.
Okay, so this isn’t a clip from The Iceman Cometh, but this is a really rare recording of O’Neill reading his own work. This comes from A Long Day’s Journey into Night.
You’ve seen some clips, now hear what the critics have to say about that Goodman Theatre production of The Iceman Cometh. This provides an in-depth take on the show.
Take a break and check out this story about a 5,000-year-old iceman mummy found in the ‘90s in the Alps.
Kevin Spacey as Hickey with the barflies at the Almeida Theatre in London (1998).
Photo of the original Broadway cast of The Iceman Cometh (1946).
Eugene O’Neill might not be the happiest guy you’ll ever see in a photo.
Val Kilmer as “Iceman” in the 1980s classic Top Gun.
The first publication kept it real gray.
A young Robert Redford as Don Parritt in the TV version of The Iceman Cometh.