JOHN BARRYMORE: A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY
by Martin F. Norden
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1995
Bio-Bibliographies in the Performing Arts, No. 68 (ISSN 0892-5550)
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 crew 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.
CONTENTS: Preface; Biography; Chronology; Stage Performances; Film
Performances; Radio Performances; Discography; "Barrymoresque"
Characterizations; Annotated Bibliography; Archives and Special
Collections; Appendix A: Audio/Visual Distributors Directory; Appendix B:
"The John Barrymore I Knew" by Margaret Carrington; Endnotes Key; Index.
MARTIN F. NORDEN teaches and writes about film as a Professor of
Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA. His
articles have appeared in journals such as Film & History,
Film Criticism, Journal of Film and Video,
Paradoxa, and Wide Angle, and in numerous anthologies.
His books include The Changing Face of Evil in
Film and Television (Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 2007), The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical
Disability in the Movies (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University Press, 1994), and Movies: A Language
in Light (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984). His
most recent books are Lois Weber:
Interviews (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2019) and
Culture Matters: Proceedings of the 39th Conference of the Northeast
Popular Culture Association (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge
Scholars Publishing, 2019).
At this point, you may want to:
SPECIAL NOTE: Marty is available for public presentations on
John Barrymore and related topics. Contact him at norden(at)comm.umass.edu for more
John Barrymore at the height of his career