Barrymore Reviews

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Jan 29, 2015

    Once upon a time, there was a great actor named John Barrymore(Christopher Plummer) who while specializing in the classics, also appeared in quite a few early sound films of Hollywood. By 1942, when this one person show was set, he was not the same person, years of alcohol abuse having damaged him beyond repair, ironically leaving him not unlike the character he played in "Dinner at Eight," a washed up actor who thinks he is still relevant. In Barrymore's case, it involves a last chance audition for Richard III. But he cannot even remember the magical words every actor has drilled into him, instead going off on tangents about his famous siblings. None of which is really that interesting or scintillating but the wonderful Christopher Plummer does what he can with such limited material. And that's got to be at least worth a look, right?

    Once upon a time, there was a great actor named John Barrymore(Christopher Plummer) who while specializing in the classics, also appeared in quite a few early sound films of Hollywood. By 1942, when this one person show was set, he was not the same person, years of alcohol abuse having damaged him beyond repair, ironically leaving him not unlike the character he played in "Dinner at Eight," a washed up actor who thinks he is still relevant. In Barrymore's case, it involves a last chance audition for Richard III. But he cannot even remember the magical words every actor has drilled into him, instead going off on tangents about his famous siblings. None of which is really that interesting or scintillating but the wonderful Christopher Plummer does what he can with such limited material. And that's got to be at least worth a look, right?

  • Sep 06, 2014

    Fantastic performance by my friend Christopher! I once kept John Barrymore in my lovely Sanitarium. He vas a disgosting letch! And a relentless dipsomaniac!

    Fantastic performance by my friend Christopher! I once kept John Barrymore in my lovely Sanitarium. He vas a disgosting letch! And a relentless dipsomaniac!

  • Apr 14, 2014

    Barrymore is an unusual, yet entertaining, film. It is a "one man" movie, with Christopher Plummer stealing the show, accompanied by only one other man part of the time, Frank. However, the true meaning of Barrymore surpasses Plummer's excellent performance of the man, but instead is about Plummer himself. Plummer is an aging actor who wants to be taken seriously for one last role before he gets too old, just like John Barrymore. Well, he has succeeded.

    Barrymore is an unusual, yet entertaining, film. It is a "one man" movie, with Christopher Plummer stealing the show, accompanied by only one other man part of the time, Frank. However, the true meaning of Barrymore surpasses Plummer's excellent performance of the man, but instead is about Plummer himself. Plummer is an aging actor who wants to be taken seriously for one last role before he gets too old, just like John Barrymore. Well, he has succeeded.

  • Jan 26, 2014

    Superb performance by Christopher Plummer. Having seen many films with John, Ethyl and Lionel Barrymore makes one even more aware of what it takes to give such a great virtuoso performance, which I saw on Great Performances. When you live in the country and don't get out much any more, you can only say, thank God for PBS!

    Superb performance by Christopher Plummer. Having seen many films with John, Ethyl and Lionel Barrymore makes one even more aware of what it takes to give such a great virtuoso performance, which I saw on Great Performances. When you live in the country and don't get out much any more, you can only say, thank God for PBS!

  • Dec 17, 2013

    brilliant performance, probably would be better to see it live.

    brilliant performance, probably would be better to see it live.

  • Sep 12, 2013

    Christopher Plummer spectacularly does his Tony Award-winning role as famed stage and film actor John Barrymore, attempting to make a late-career comeback. It is almost literally a filmed stage play, which feels odd at first, but Plummer's work keeps viewer interest. Some may be put off by the at-times salty language, but it is worth sticking with to view a master actor in an acclaimed performance.

    Christopher Plummer spectacularly does his Tony Award-winning role as famed stage and film actor John Barrymore, attempting to make a late-career comeback. It is almost literally a filmed stage play, which feels odd at first, but Plummer's work keeps viewer interest. Some may be put off by the at-times salty language, but it is worth sticking with to view a master actor in an acclaimed performance.

  • Jul 23, 2013

    Barrymore is a filmed version of the theatrical, one-man show classic. Starring Christopher Plummer in the role he perfected on Broadway, this version is both incredibly faithful to its theatrical counterpart, but also takes some liberties with the visuals. Even though Erik Canuel is unafraid to play with the visual presentation of the film, I personally don't think that he did enough with it. There are long sections where it's simply the play as is, but when Plummer goes off on tangents concerning childhood and regret, he may step into his childhood home for a look around in black and white, and then back to the stage again. I just don't feel like there are enough of these moments to keep things visually interesting. So it may not be all that interesting visually, but it's an admirable attempt to capture a virtuoso performance on film.

    Barrymore is a filmed version of the theatrical, one-man show classic. Starring Christopher Plummer in the role he perfected on Broadway, this version is both incredibly faithful to its theatrical counterpart, but also takes some liberties with the visuals. Even though Erik Canuel is unafraid to play with the visual presentation of the film, I personally don't think that he did enough with it. There are long sections where it's simply the play as is, but when Plummer goes off on tangents concerning childhood and regret, he may step into his childhood home for a look around in black and white, and then back to the stage again. I just don't feel like there are enough of these moments to keep things visually interesting. So it may not be all that interesting visually, but it's an admirable attempt to capture a virtuoso performance on film.

  • Jun 15, 2013

    A one man show brought to cinema is hard.....with an lesser actor than Plummer it be brutal.

    A one man show brought to cinema is hard.....with an lesser actor than Plummer it be brutal.

  • Mar 07, 2013

    Christopher Plummer is fabulous as John Barrymore ... someone he's clearly too old to play, but then again, given Barrymore's lifestyle, perhaps he isn't. If you want to see Plummer strut his stuff, it's certainly worth a view. It's not really a play that begged to be put on the screen, and it's not particularly well-suited to be a movie. Outside of Plummer's performance, it's really not very compelling.

    Christopher Plummer is fabulous as John Barrymore ... someone he's clearly too old to play, but then again, given Barrymore's lifestyle, perhaps he isn't. If you want to see Plummer strut his stuff, it's certainly worth a view. It's not really a play that begged to be put on the screen, and it's not particularly well-suited to be a movie. Outside of Plummer's performance, it's really not very compelling.

  • Nov 27, 2012

    It's all about Plummer's performance in this entertaining but slight recreation of the final performance of John Barrymore.

    It's all about Plummer's performance in this entertaining but slight recreation of the final performance of John Barrymore.