Appearing in about 60 films and dozens of stage and radio productions, John Barrymore (1882-1942) was arguably the most idolized performing arts figure of his generation. Renowned for his ability to make even the flimsiest roles come to life with power and passion, the Great Profile reached his apex with title role performances in stagings of Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1922-25). This book charts his legendary and sometimes scandalous life and career.
A biography discusses his love of roles requiring physical or psychological distortion, his four failed marriages, and his memorable achievements on the stage and screen. Chapters that follow contain entries for his performances in stage, film, and radio productions, with each entry providing cast and credit listings, plot synopses, critical commentary, and excerpts from reviews. Also included are a discography, a chapter on plays and films with characters modeled after Barrymore, an annotated bibliography, and discussions of archives and special collections. The volume closes with a personal essay by Barrymore's Shakespearean vocal coach, Margaret Carrington. This essay, written by a pivotal figure in Barrymore's development as a serious actor, has never before been published.
About the Author
MARTIN F. NORDEN is Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His articles have appeared in journals such as Film & History, Film Criticism, Journal of Film and Video, Journal of Popular Film and Television, and Wide Angle, and in numerous anthologies. He is the author of The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies (1994).
Table of Contents
Archives and Special Collections
Appendix A: Audio/Video Distributors Directory
Appendix B: "The John Barrymore I Knew" by Margaret Carrington