All My Sons, Arthur Miller's first commercially successful play, opened at the Coronet Theatre in New York on January 29, 1947. It ran for 328 performances and garnered important critical acclaim for the dramatist, winning the prestigious New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.
Miller's earlier play, The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944), had not done well and had quickly closed; therefore, at the time All My Sons opened, Miller's reputation as a writer was based almost solely on Focus (1945), his lauded novel about anti-Semitism.
All My Sons is now regarded as the first of Miller's major plays. The work also greatly helped the career of Elia Kazan, who had first won accolades for his direction of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth in 1942 and after directing All My Sons would continue to work with the plays of both Miller and Tennessee Williams to produce both legendary stage productions and important films.
In All My Sons, Miller evidenced the strong influence of both Henrik Ibsen and Greek tragedy, developing a ‘‘formula’’ that he would brilliantly exploit in his next play, Death of a Salesman (1949), which many regard as his finest work.