Concept

All My Sons

Summary
All My Sons is a three-act play written in 1946 by Arthur Miller. It opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre in New York City on January 29, 1947, closed on November 8, 1947, and ran for 328 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan (to whom it is dedicated), produced by Kazan and Harold Clurman, and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. It starred Ed Begley, Beth Merrill, Arthur Kennedy, and Karl Malden and won both the Tony Award for Best Author and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. The play was adapted for films in 1948 and 1987. Miller wrote All My Sons after his first play The Man Who Had All the Luck failed on Broadway, lasting only four performances. Miller wrote All My Sons as a final attempt at writing a commercially successful play; he vowed to "find some other line of work" if the play did not find an audience. All My Sons is based upon a true story, which Arthur Miller's then-mother-in-law pointed out in an Ohio newspaper. The news story described how in 1941–43 the Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use. The story of defective engines had reached investigators working for Sen. Harry Truman's congressional investigative board after several Wright aircraft assembly workers informed on the company; they later testified under oath before Congress. In 1944, three Army Air Force officers, Lt. Col. Frank C. Greulich, Major Walter A. Ryan, and Major William Bruckmann were relieved of duty and later convicted of neglect of duty. Henrik Ibsen's influence on Miller is evidenced from the Ibsen play The Wild Duck, from where Miller took the idea of two partners in a business where one is forced to take moral and legal responsibility for the other. This is mirrored in All My Sons. He also borrowed the idea of a character's idealism being the source of a problem.
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