john barrymore

The 4 ‘Romeo & Juliets’ – enough already!

November 25, 2015 // 6 Comments

  The chronic problem with casting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is finding actors who are both young and experienced enough in stage acting to carry it off. After all, in Bill the Bard’s play Juliet is just fourteen years old. MGM producer Irving Thalberg unwisely chose to tackle the problem in the 1936 version by giving his wife Norma Shearer the role. Depending on which birth date is the [...]

What’s in a name Part One?

August 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

Back in the good old studio days it was customary for studios to come up with snappy nicknames for their female stars. Well, they thought they were snappy, anyway. For some reason these were seldom given to male actors, although that is not to say that some of these guys didn’t have nicknames of their own long before their movie careers took off. John ‘Duke’ Wayne was one, for example. As a [...]

JOHN BARRYMORE – A drunk, a rake & a rare talent.

February 5, 2015 // 1 Comment

  John Barrymore’s siblings, Lionel and Ethel, both won Oscars in their careers, but most critics are agreed that John was the best actor of the three. Not everyone agreed, however. Playwright George Bernard Shaw detested his ‘Hamlet’, describing it as one of the worst portrayals in history, accusing the actor of indulging his own ego at the Bard’s expense. Garson Kanin, by [...]
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