Barrymore (Christopher Plummer)

I recently saw the film of the William Luce play “Barrymore.” Christopher Plummer reprises the central (and nearly only) character. The play depicts the great American actor John Barrymore in the last year of his life. Plummer, as usual, is great.

My interest in the film is natural since I did see the play at the Music Box Theatre in 1997. The play and Plummer impressed me greatly then and although there was a 15 year interlude between the play’s run and the film it still does. I am glad they preserved and in some ways enhanced the original stage version.

The play leans heavily on Shakespeare which is understandable since John Barrymore essayed many of the Bard’s main characters. The whole thing meshes together in a very natural and poignant way while mixing in many a well placed soliloquy.

To be honest, it was first seeing the play in 1997 which is responsible for my own recent found respect for the greatness of Shakespeare.