Ah, Wilderness (1935): O’Neill’s Americana Starring Wallace Beery and Mickey Rooney

Ah, Wilderness, Eugene O’Neill’s only comedy, a classic coming of age tale, deals with the fantasy of the boyhood he had never had, focusing on one crucial summer.

Eric Linden plays Richard Miller, a young, sincere, but also naive youngster, who’s left to his on devices. His mother is busy with domestic issues, his mischievous brother and unruly sister vex him, his father avoids instructing him in how to become a mature man. It’s his eccentric uncle, who teaches him about real life.

A slice of nostalgic Americana, the film is filled with funny and tender scenes as young Richard strives to understand himself and his family.

Mickey Rooney, who here plays the youngest brother, played the lead role 13 years later in the musical remake, “Summer Holiday.”

 

Cast

Wallace Beery as Sidney Miller

Lionel Barrymore as Nat Mille

Aline MacMahon as Lily Davis

Eric Linden as Richard ‘Dick’ Miller

Cecilia Parker as Muriel McCombe

Spring Byington as Essie Mille

Mickey Rooney as Tommy Mille

Charles Grapewin as Mr. Dave McCombe

Frank Al bertsonas Arthur Mille

Edward J. Nugent as Wint Selb

Bonita Granville as Mildred Mille

Helen Flint as Bell

Helen Freeman as Miss Hawley