Christopher Plummer in “Barrymore” Sept. 2014

01 Sep

I wasn’t quite sure where to post this as it is not specifically about ERROL .

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) will be presenting Christopher Plummer’s 1 man show  of  “Barrymore” on Saturday September 6th.  I believe this is a filmed version of the highly acclaimed stage production depicting Barrymore at the end of his life.

Christopher Plummer is famous for his performances of Shakespeare -but is likely better known for his portrayal of Captain Von Trapp in the Sound of Music -Eleanor Parker was also in that one – he has also performed at the Errol Flynn Playhouse. For anyone into Star Trek he played  General Chang in Star Trek VI.

I  found him reciting Hamlet (or was it Macbeth?) on an old Cosby episode- he shines!  I wish my English teacher had looked like that.

Now in his 80’s he has an Oscar to boot – and retains his Canadian Citizenship.

His autobiography (In Spite of Myself)  is a fun and fascinating read. Imagine hanging around with the likes of Peter O’Toole – and surviving that.  Of course there is a small mention (very small)  of  Errol.  I have read this book and found some of the writing style similar to Errol’s in MWWW- never taking himself too seriously. I have seen him interviewed on TV- lots of humor there too and great stories of the  stage actors of the time performing on TV in the 1950’s.

Like I said -not a direct link to EF I just thought it might be interesting to watch knowing how much Barrymore influenced Errol.


— Maria


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  1. Maria

    September 1, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I have seen this on Amazon too.

  2. David DeWitt

    September 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm


  3. zacal

    September 2, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I saw this play in Los Angeles… TWICE! The second time I was with Deborah Thalberg, the granddaughter of Irving Thalberg and Norma Shearer.(Like her grandmother, Deborah always had the classic beauty of the 1930’s movie stars.) She coaxed me to make our way up to the front of the theater during intermission towards two empty seats, so we could really appreciate the great performance Mr. Plummer gave. At one point, Mr. Plummer actually made eye contact with me, which stunned me. It was such perfect casting.
    For me, it WAS a connection with Errol Flynn. Remember, Errol IDOLIZED Barrymore. I still have the Playbill and am thankful that someone had the wherewithal to film his performance for posterity. Thanks for the heads up. barrymore.jpg

    • David DeWitt

      September 2, 2014 at 3:32 am

      I would love to see this! My eye contact moment was seeing Richard Harris do Camelot in Seattle years ago. It was obvious he knew everybody’s lines not just his own. And that voice!

      • Gentleman Tim

        September 2, 2014 at 7:52 am

        You guys certainly have me topped. The only comparable stage experience I’ve had is when, back about twenty-five years or so on Broadway, Dustin Hoffman sprayed spit in my face quite effusively during his big soliloquy in The Merchant of Venice! All I can say is the quality of mercy was quite strain’d; it droppedth from a stage on Broadway as the not-so-gentle rain of Rainman.

        Needless to say, if I ever have an opportunity to see the great Dustin Hoffman on stage again (in, let’s say “Great Expectorations”, for example) I will be sure to sit in the second mezz.


  4. Maria

    September 2, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Wow you made my day! Thanks so much for that photo too. Have you seen Christopher Plummer in other performances?
    I am looking forward to this. If the date or time changes I will post.

  5. Gentleman Tim

    September 2, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Wow, zacal! How very cool!!

    Flynn would be so very proud of you making your way up to the front like that – and especially so with Irving & Norma’s grandaughter!!! – Professor Thalberg’s daughter, I presume.

    P.S. If I recall correctly, Errol came to know Barrymore when/because he (Flynn) auditioned to play Romeo in Thalberg’s production of Billy Shakespeare’s R &J – with Norma Shearer playing Juliet!

    • zacal

      September 2, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Wow, I hadn’t even thought of the Romeo and Juliet connection. Talk about touchstone moments. Thanks for thinking that Errol would have been proud of me but, if it had been Errol, HE would have been the one leading the way. In my case, it was the beautiful Deborah Thalberg. (She could have/should have been a famous actress; classic looks and great talent. Fate is strange.)

      • zacal

        September 2, 2014 at 7:37 am


      • Gentleman Tim

        September 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

        Fate is indeed strange, zacal. For Errol-related proof of that fact, you may want to read the amazing account I’m posting on one of the tennis tabs in a few minutes.

  6. timerider

    September 3, 2014 at 1:36 am

    HAHAHA! Tim, you were “Baptised” with holy actor fluids! LOL! Now don’t get a big head! No puffing up! Just sayin……

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 3, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Oh, my. Good heavens no, timerider! In the immortal words of Charlie Babbitt’s brother Ray: No, definitely not. Definitely not. (I’d say more, zacal, but Judge Wapner’s coming on in 15 minutes,.)


  7. timerider

    September 3, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Now I MUST see this! Christopher is a favorite of mine. The closest I ever came to a famous actor was long before he was an actor and was just a teenage beachbum!

  8. Gentleman Tim

    September 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Here’s an article about
    about Plummer, Barrymore, and Today’s broadcast.…


  9. Maria

    September 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

    20 minutes into the program and enough commercials to send me over the edge!

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 7, 2014 at 4:45 am

      I found plenty of commercials, Maria, but never did find Barrymore! Perhaps it didn’t play down here in FLA. Could be CBS in Canada have different programming. Or maybe I just somehow screwed up. In any case, I hoe you enjoyed it!

  10. Maria

    September 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    That is too bad Tim. I don’t know what US stations carry the C CBC programs but it still might show up. I have US Netflix as well so I thought it might pop up there. Plummer alternated his characterisation with absolutely outrageous observations (I actually laughed outloud!) on family including his father – his imitations of Lionel and Ethel were spot on. When it came to his Grandma (mum-mum) his affection was obvious. She called him Green Goose. I wonder if Errol picked up the nickname tradition from him? The play begins with Barrymore arriving (somewhat in his cups)with his drink trolley not far behind. I am limited in typing space this morning but if anyone else watched please comment.

  11. Maria

    September 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for posting this Tim. (The Vancouver article) What a sense of humour. Shades of Errol!

    • Maria

      September 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      I just realized that I deleted my line wrt alternating characterisation. Plummer went from funny to very serious. His whole persona changed in an instant when speaking of his father or reciting lines from a role. Remember Errol’s speech on the boat (once more into the breach..) and then the comic turn? I was hoping that there would be mention of Errol – I wonder what the slant would have been?

  12. Gentleman Tim

    September 7, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Sounds so Great, Maria. Thank for telling us all about it! I can’t wait to see it.

    I had no idea Plummer had such a tremendous wit, resume, and view on life. Good for him!

    Do you think a play in the same vein as “Barrymore” could work for one on “Flynn”, Maria?

    Here’s The Baron’s take on The Profile:


  13. Maria

    September 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Not a bad idea Tim!

    • Gentleman Tim

      September 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Ah, but who to play Errol, Maria!? There is the rub! Now that Kevin Kline took his swing at it, who the heck can convincingly play the great Errol Flynn?? Compounding that profound casting obstacle, I believe any play (or movie) would suffer gravely if it does not include extensive depiction of Flynn at his immortal best. Otherwise, it’s too hard for an audience to understand why the play or movie is being presented in the first place. So, who can play Flynn from the 1930s on??? … including the staging of a great scene recalling this one for the audience, perhaps: