- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- el debbo
Interesting. Flynn's portrayal of Barrymore was outstanding. His face said a thousand words in every situation. Just great. Malone, however, is an overload of sidelong glances and the same old shady mannerisms she used from Written on the Wind to Peyton Place. Roll eyes to side, coyly smile to oneself. That's acting! Anyhoo, relentlessly tragic story and hard to take, I give it 3 dim stars over Washington Square. Cue the Village Stompers.
Flynn's Late Career
Rumors flew about an Oscar nomination for Flynn as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of John Barrymore, whom Flynn knew and idolized earlier in his life. Flynn's nuanced, sad turn as a narcissistic, broken down, debauched wreck is true to Barrymore as well as being autobiographical. Flynn acknowledged his adeptness at playing himself the way the public perceived him at that time (very late) in his life. Thus he brings many poignant notes to his performance. Flynn admitted that "for once" the critics gave him good reviews. But the nomination never happened, probably because his life style precluded Hollywood from honoring him. The man who thrilled us and made us love him as Robin Hood, Captain Blood, Miles Hendon, The Sea Hawk, (to name a few of his triumphs as a beautiful, graceful young actor) makes us wonder about, and ultimately accept, what he shows us he decided to become in this movie.
too much too soon
- kevin sellers
First half, which concentrates on the extremely dysfunctional relationship between father and daughter, (hard to know who is the more messed up) is very good. But as soon as John Barrrymore dies (announced via a toe tag on the corpse being wheeled in from the morgue; a nice touch) you can feel the energy and interest flow out of this movie and the second half becomes your standard "crack up and redemption" story, albeit with one great scene of Diana Barrymore's sleazy tennis bum husband, well played by Ray Danton, using his raquet and ball as a domestic assault weapon. There is enough haunting imagery from the first half that lingers in the mind, though, like a ghostly yacht from Barrymore's past that lures him away from the real yacht he shares with his daughter, and that creepy eagle slash vulture in Barrymore's mausoleum of a house (maybe a bit too much of a Sunset Blvd. ripoff, but still effective) that one wonders why the film's director, Art Napoleon, did not have more of a career. Dorothy Malone showed in Written On The Wind that she's good at playing self destructive women with daddy fixations. She's so good, in fact, that I didn't buy her conversion to normalcy at film's end with Martin Milner (who always seemed to be stuck in the thankless Nice Guy role.) As for Errol Flynn, what can you say? He had to wait until the very end of his career to play two drunks, John Barrymore and Mike Campbell in Sun Also Rises, to finally show what a good actor he was. Let's give it a very generous B minus (Hell, most movies are lucky if they're good just 25% of the way through!)
Dorothy Malone Zowie! (1958)
Diana Barrymore(Dororthy Malone) had her demons,BOOZE, and low self-esteem issues that led her down a dark path. John Barrymore(Errol Flynn) stars as the father that also had his problems, apparently the father and daughter don't get along. Anyway along the way husband Vincent Bryant(Efrem ZImbalist jr.) isn't around enough and enter tennis star John Howard(Ray Danton) who is as sleazy as they come. The most noteworhty aspect of this film is its "cross-over" stars. with the exit of Flynn and the entrance of Zimbalist, Malone, Danton, and Martin Milner(albiet with less hair). What an entrance. Somehwat sospay but Malone is brilliant, and Flynn too. 4 stars out of 5.
- Michael Steven
This is the sordid story of Diana Blanche Blythe(Barrymore)1921-1960.I waited almost 30 years to see this film.Once again,TCM comes through.I thought that Dorothy Malone did as good as she could with this role.There's only so much that she could get away with.The ending of this film wants to create a feeling of hope for Diana.Sadly,she was NEVER able to get that monkey off her back,& it sent her to an early grave,at the age of 38,in Jan.1960. It's Errol Flynn's portrayal of his friend John Barrymore,that steals the show.He stated that he never intended to do an impersonation of Barrymore.He was well aware of the problems that Jack was going through at the time.To ANYONE who is familiar with the bio's of Flynn & Barrymore,their lives were parallel in nature.ALMOST IDENTICAL.It took Jack Barrymore 60 years to drink himself to death,whereas it took Flynn,50 years.And it SHOWS in this film.His looks were pretty much gone,by this time.Check out the close ups.This was also the LAST film Errol Flynn ever did at a MAJOR film studio.On the day of his death in Vancouver B.C.,in 1959,Flynn was in the process of selling his ship,THE ZACA,& was entertaining his hosts with stories about Hollywood & did impersonations of some of the people he once knew.One of those was of John Barrymore. To those who think that this film is "UPLIFTING"....IT ISN'T! It's O.K.But,could you imagine what really happened to these people? THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO WAY A FILM LIKE THIS COULD BE MADE,WITHOUT GIVING IT AN "X" RATING.Would I be interested in viewing this film,again?NO! I've seen worse.
Too Much Too Soon is never shown too much!
- John Lombard
I am glad TCM is airing this film. We fans of Errol Flynn thoroughly enjoy the Birthday Tributes on June 20th, and this is an added bonus. Regardless of "Critics", Errol did a Great Job portraying his friend Jack Barrymore, and it is another display of how fame can also be a curse for not only the celebrity in question, but their family members as well, it is NOT a Regular, Everyday Job or life. As with many Great Celebrities throughout the years, they are never "allowed" to age, and are constantly held to their first triumphs, always expected to equal or top them. I am biased and admit it, so here is my 5 Stars, no apologies. Thank you TCM!
- pamela wynn
I do not always use this venue, but wanted to acknowledge that there are many of us out there who would love to see this movie on DVD. Please add my vote to this request, and hope that others will follow....
Requested Many Times!
I'm stll waiting for you to show this wonderful classic and important movie. Intense, dark, and tragic - it's the stuff old Hollywood was made of. Please!!!
IT´S AN ABSURD.......
The TCM channel has in your content, many interesting movies and can get anothers more but stays showing the same movies for many years. Would you please, show us this movie that is very important because show the sad life of the actress Diana Barrymore and the cast is soberb!