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ken123
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Post by ken123 »

Midnight has a wonderful performance by Rex O' Malley in a Clifton Webb type role. What happened to Mr. O' Malley ? :lol:
pktrekgirl
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Post by pktrekgirl »

MissGoddess wrote:I'm a big fan of JB. His appeal is not so different from Errol's, and it is hard not to make the comparisons.


Well, as you might imagine, that was my original chief reason for getting interested in him. His real life relationship with Errol...as well as the fact that Errol (sadly) pretty much followed in his footsteps...is of great interest to me, of course.

But having seen a few of his films, you simply can't deny how stunningly brilliant he was. When I think of DINNER AT EIGHT, he is the first one who comes to mind. For alot of folks, they might first think of Harlow...but I simply cannot get away from John Barrymore.



I think Counsellor-at-Law contains John's last truly great performance. He is not in heavy make-up and not parodying himself, he is turning in an honest, human performance and gets to flex his talents by exhibiting a wide-range of emotions in his scenes. He dominates the picture, but the supporting cast is a brilliant one, each inididual shining more brightly in his orbit and under Wyler's sure hand. This movie has shot to the top of my William Wyler "most admired" films list. It's very funny and will break your heart. What more can one ask?


Well, now you have me all jazzed up to watch it! :D

I bought it sight-unseen as I've never read any discussion of it anywhere. I just decided to see more John Barrymore...so off I went. You know how I do that. ;)

But now I'm really glad that I invested in this one.

Midnight is a terrific screwball comedy, one of the best, but John Barrymore has already begun to show heartbreaking signs of deterioration. He's never bad, but it's painful to see him actually reading the cue cards. This once magnificent talent. I would recommend you see Counsellor-at-Law first.


I don't think I even have a copy of Midnight. But I'm not too keen to watch the on-screen alcohol-related deterioration of another once magnificent star. If you know what I mean... ;) I'm still grieving over the first one...and I've been at THAT for quite some time. I think I've read too many books and almost know TOO MUCH about what was going on behind the scenes at any given time. :( I think Errol was the first star who REALLY brought home to me exactly how miserable someone who appeared to 'have it all' could be. I mean, I knew it before and all that....but well....he made it really REAL.

I might watch Midnight later. But for now I'll try to focus on some of Barrymore's earlier performances, I think. Happy/Shiny and all that....
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

I look forward to your impressions of CAL. If you care to, I highly recommend Gene Fowler's biography of John, called Goodnight, Sweet Prince: The Life and Times of John Barrymore. It's an affectionate account of the man who was his friend, and one of the best books of its kind I've read. It is poignant, especially in light of what you mentioned regarding Errol's unhappy descent, so not at all Happy/Shiny---except for some truly hilarious escapades.

My own John Barrymore wish list is topped by his silent, The Sea Beast, which is supposed to contain one of his finest performances.

Miss G
pktrekgirl
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Post by pktrekgirl »

MissGoddess wrote:I look forward to your impressions of CAL. If you care to, I highly recommend Gene Fowler's biography of John, called Goodnight, Sweet Prince: The Life and Times of John Barrymore. It's an affectionate account of the man who was his friend, and one of the best books of its kind I've read. It is poignant, especially in light of what you mentioned regarding Errol's unhappy descent, so not at all Happy/Shiny---except for some truly hilarious escapades.

My own John Barrymore wish list is topped by his silent, The Sea Beast, which is supposed to contain one of his finest performances.

Miss G


Actually, I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of that book at a used book sale last year - in decent condition hardcover...for about a quarter! It's sitting on my shelf, but as yet unread. I think I bought about 25 books at that sale....and then promptly went back to reading about the usual suspects: Flynn, Cooper and Valentino. And Chaplin. Let's not forget about the bazillion books I now have about Chaplin! :lol:

Then I got these Kay Francis books...and bleh! Never got to it.

I don't have nearly enough time for all of my hobbies.

Is SEA BEAST on DVD? That might be interesting to try and get ahold of...
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

That's great that you got a hardcover copy! I only have the soft-cover edition. You have some swell books in your collection. :)

Unfortunately, The Sea Beast has never been on dvd or vhs, and I don't even think TCM has ever aired it. I've only read about it and seen still from it (it's the movie in which Barrymore fell head-over-heels for Dolores Costello, so it was a high point in his personal life; as for the plot, it's an extremely romanticized version of Moby Dick). He just looks so dashing in it that I'm curious to watch it.

(sorry, everyone, to stay so off-topic!)

John, with his lover before Dolores, Mary Astor:

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pktrekgirl
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Post by pktrekgirl »

Miss G - I'm gonna respond to your post over the the People of Film forum, 'kay?

Going to start a John Barrymore thread.

After I start the Coop thread, that is.

Coop comes first. Gotta remember our priorities! :D
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