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GarboManiac, September 29, 2006
Great picture, GarboManiac. I recall we once had a thread where we were asked to choose our favorite Barrymore. Mine was Ethel, followed by Lionel, and John.
I was always disappointed Ethel didn't do another film in the thirties. But, from what I read, she was so disgusted with Hollywood, she went straight back to New York after Rasputin and the Empress. Thank goodness she finally returned, and we have the legacy of film on her that we do!!
Ethel between scenes on Rasputin and the Empress.
She has one of the most distinctive and wonderful of actress' voices.
I realize that RASPUTIN AND THE EMPRESS isn't the greatest (or most historically acurate) film ever made, but I do think it's a good film. Not great, but good. And I love the scene where John is trying to kill Lionel, cursing him, flailing at him. It's a truly classic creepy film moment.
Am I alone in thinking that little Drew Barrymore looks more and more like Lionel every year?
No, it isn't a great film, but it is a remarkable classic due to its casting, which makes it one of the most valuable gems of the era! I just wish John had a stronger part. Lionel stole the fim, and that was difficult seeing that Ethel was in it, but John's part could have been played by anybody. Anyway, I'm not complaining. I am glad we have it and that they did it! Just wish they had done more!
And, it will be interesting to see what Drew looks like in her forties. I never thought she was very attractive, but she is a Barrymore, so that makes her royalty.
The GREAT PROFILE - John Barrymore
I loved both Lionel and Ethel. He could be either a sweet, lovable, and endearing grandpa, or a rotten old curmudgeon like in Wonderful Life, but no matter what, he was terrific. Ethel even at her hardest was lovable, you had a hard time hating her e.g. Pinky. But it seemed to me that John was always too self-absorbed, like whenever the camera wasn't on him, he was sneaking peaks at himself in a mirror.
Ahem...well, I liked John Barrymore Jr.
Granted, I've only seen three of his films, but he was very good in "Sundowner", great in "While the City Sleeps", and excellent in "The Big Night" (a film that TCM only showed once, as far as I know).
True, he didn't have the range of his family, but he had intensity, especially in his eyes.
I wish TCM would show "The Big Night" again.
We are about to begin film preservation work on "One Man's Journey" (1933) and 5 other long unseen RKO classics. They will premiere on TCM sometime in 2007.
"One Man's Journey" is a terrific picture. It stars Lionel Barrymore in one his best and most understated performances. Also in the cast are May Robson, Joel McCrea, and Frances Dee. This picture has been unseen for nearly 50 years.
> But it seemed to me that John was always too
> self-absorbed, like whenever the camera wasn't on
> him, he was sneaking peaks at himself in a mirror.
It's possible that one reason you get that impression is that John really was sneaking peeks, but it was at cue cards with his lines written on them. We've read in many, many Hollywood books about how he was very bad at knowing his lines, and had them written all over the set, including on the backs of others in the scenes.
What I really like about John Barrymore is how he poked fun at his own image, and in the few comedies he was in, played parodies of the "Barrymore" persona. I think he was really funny. I just loved in him "Midnight." If you've ever seen Kevin Kline at his most deliberately hammy, you'll get the idea of what Barrymore was like.
As far as the self-absorption - well, that was one acting style from the past, and he did come from an acting family. I prefer to think of it as "presence." He may have been a ham, but he was choice.
Hey GM can you tell me what is the connection with Drew Barrymore how does she fit with this family in terms of being related Was John Barrymore her Grandfather and what was the connection with Ethel Thanks inglis
John Drew Barrymore,
AKA John Blythe Barrymore, Jr.
Birthplace: Beverly Hills, CA,
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA,
Cause of death: unspecified,
Father: John Barrymore (actor),
Mother: Dolores Costello (actress, b. 17-Sep-1903, d. 1-Mar-1979 emphysema),
Wife: Jaid Barrymore (actress, b. 8-May-1946, one daughter),
Daughter: Drew Barrymore (actress, b. 22-Feb-1975)
So, that makes her grandfather, THE GREAT PROFILE, John Barrymore!
> Ahem...well, I liked John Barrymore Jr.
> Granted, I've only seen three of his films, but he
> was very good in "Sundowner", great in "While the
> City Sleeps", and excellent in "The Big Night" (a
> film that TCM only showed once, as far as I know).
You should definitely rent "Counsellor-At-Law." John's finest, IMO.
Sorry, no Ethel!
I WISH I could think of the movie where John Barrymore was self-deprecating, where his entire style appeared to be a send-up to his matinee image. It was delightful, and further evidence of the enormous acting ability of this great theatrical family.
dolores, I can think of a few where Barrymore parodied himself:
The Great Man Votes
Playmates (he plays himself, teaching co-star Kay Kayser how to be a Shakespearean actor)
The Great Profile (he is a great Shakespearean actor names "Evans Garrick" - the names of two great Shakespearean actors)
Invisible Woman (not a comedy, but he does a very camp turn as a mad doctor)
Are any of the above the one you are thinking of?
Thanks, jdb1. I remember 20th Century and it wasn't that one. Also, there wasn't anything Shakespearean involved.
So it might just have been Midnight. I do remember it was wonderful.
Crazy about Twentieth Century! One of the GREATEST CLASSICS! Barrymore and Lombard! I love her line, when she is complaining after he makes her a star about having become his captive and his not allowing her see or party with anyone else, "Simply because he doesn?t want me to mingle with what he calls riff-raff, and that?s everybody in the world except us two!"
The Biography Channel on most cable systems is showing a 2 hour biography of the Barrymore family this evening, Tuesday, Oct. 17th at 8pm eastern time and repeating it at 12am Oct. 18th. I've seen it in the past and it is very worthwhile for those of us who can't get enough of Ethel, Lionel and John and their assorted relations. Perhaps this notice will give some Barrymaniacs a chance to record this excellent biographical portrait hosted by Gary Sinise.
For Release: October 18, 2006
Turner Classic Movies Plays Sleuth,
Discovers Six Previously Lost RKO Classics
Network Currently Making New Masters, Prints to Air Films in 2007
In its ongoing commitment to preserving cinematic history, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has purchased the copyrights and all right, title and interest to six RKO films previously thought lost from the silver screen, it was announced today by Tom Karsch, executive vice president and general manager of TCM. This selection of rare motion pictures includes works directed by William Wellman, John Cromwell and Garson Kanin, and starring such silver screen luminaries as William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Irene Dunne, Lionel Barrymore and Joel McCrea, as well as an early screenplay by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo.
In association with the Library of Congress and the BYU film archive, TCM is currently making new 35mm fine-grain masters and prints of six pictures slated to air on the network in 2007: Double Harness (1933), One Man?s Journey (1933), Rafter Romance (1933), Stingaree (1934), Living on Love (1937) and A Man to Remember (1938).
?These six films had slipped through the cracks of film history because the two copyright holders?Merian C. Cooper and Ernest L. Scanlon?had long since passed away,? Karsch said. ?As a result, they were languishing in film archives around the world, largely unpreserved. As curators of film history, TCM is proud to take the lead on preserving these films and airing them for classic movie fans of all ages.?
A Man to Remember, largely unseen since its original theatrical release, was on the New York Times? list of the top 10 films of 1938. Showings of the five other films have been extremely rare since 1959. Living on Love and A Man to Remember are ?B? picture remakes of Rafter Romance and One Man?s Journey. The search for these films began as a result of a viewer inquiry regarding the Turner Entertainment Company library status of Double Harness. These six films were sold out of the RKO library to Cooper in 1946. In 1959, ownership transferred to former Selznick International executive Scanlon.
Only two of the six films had ever been properly preserved. Rafter Romance and Stingaree had been anonymously preserved by the American Film Institute from the original 35mm nitrate camera negatives in the 1970s. This material is now at the Library of Congress.
Brigham Young University has Cooper?s 35mm and 16mm safety-dupe television negatives for Double Harness, One Man?s Journey, Rafter Romance, Stingaree and Living on Love. The only surviving copy of A Man to Remember is a 35mm original nitrate, Dutch-subtitled, English-language print, which was preserved by the Netherlands Filmmuseum in 2000. Additional 35mm nitrate dupe negatives for Double Harness were found in France at the CNC. The original 35mm nitrate camera negatives for all six films appear to be lost.
Turner Classic Movies, currently seen in more than 75 million homes, is a 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. TCM presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from the largest film library in the world, the combined Time Warner and Turner film libraries, from the ?20s through the ?90s, commercial-free and without interruption. Expanding TCM?s role as a curator of movie history, the network recently launched TCMdb, the Internet's most media-rich interactive movie database. For more information, please visit tcm.com.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.
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