The movie tells the true story of Diana Barrymore, a theatrical actress who acted on both stage and screen was once part of the legendary Barrymore family. Behind the cameras and backstage, Diana Barrymore would suffer through alcohol and drugs.Written by
The script tells us that, at the time of his death in 1942, John Barrymore had not worked in five years. Truth of the matter is that he had prominent roles in two films in 1939, two in 1940, and two in 1941, and at least four of them, Midnight, The Great Man Votes, The Great Profile, and _The Invisible Woman_ (1940), are quite notable and still shown today on cable television. See more »
[to Diana about John]
Whatever he's looking for he won't find it in Rio.
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Biopic of Diana Barrymore, failed actress and daughter of John Barrymore, who took after her father in the "demons" department, becoming an alcoholic. This film covers her bad relationships, including the one with her estranged father, and her descent into addiction. It's all mostly from Diana's autobiography of the same name. Obviously given the time in which it was made, this offers a somewhat sanitized version of Diana's story but they do what they can. As with most biographical pictures, liberties are taken with the truth. The film stars Dorothy Malone but what drew me (and I suspect many of you) to see it is Errol Flynn as John Barrymore. The best scenes in the film are those with Flynn. There's a wonderfully atmospheric scene where he recites Shakespeare to a yacht full of his disreputable friends, all of them filmed in eerie silhouette so you can't see their faces, like something out of the Twilight Zone. Dorothy Malone's performance is not exactly impressive, especially compared to some of the contemporary 'lady alcoholic' parts played by the likes of Susan Hayward. She's not bad, at least not always. It's just not a particularly memorable job. Errol Flynn is the reason to see this. It's his last good role and one he was (sadly) more qualified than anybody to play, given his own demons. He does a sensational job. It's one of his best performances. The real Diana Barrymore died two years after this was released. Flynn beat her to it, dying in 1959. Neither died of old age. By the way, the original movie poster (and subsequent DVD cover) is among the worst I've ever seen.
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