Ethel Barrymore

  • Elia Kazan & John Ford – Pinky (1949)

    Synopsis:
    Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother’s house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school. Pinky tells her grandmother that she has been “passing” for white while at school in the North. In addition, Pinky has fallen in love with a young white doctor, Dr. Thomas Adams, who knows nothing about her black heritage. Pinky says that she will return to the North, but Granny Johnson convinces her to stay and treat an ailing white woman, Miss Em. Meanwhile, Dr. Canady, a black physician from another part of the state, visits Pinky and asks her to train some African American students, but she declines. Read More »

  • Robert Siodmak – The Spiral Staircase (1946)

    Quote:
    The wonderfully suspenseful psychological drama Spiral Staircase is the prototype of the “old dark house, lady in distress” thriller, full of dark corners, flickering candles and featuring a mysterious, menacing killer whose true identity remains hidden until the end. Helen Capel (Dorothy McGuire), mute because of a childhood trauma, cares for the owner of the house, the wealthy Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore), a demanding, widowed invalid. Helen has quietly fallen in love with one of Mrs. Warren’s sons, Dr. Parry (Kent Smith), who she believes to be a gentle and understanding man. Helen’s peaceful life is changed forever when three local women, all with physical handicaps, are found murdered. Read More »

  • Clifford Odets – None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

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    Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
    Cary Grant delivered Oscar-calibre performances all his life, but only when he played against type in None But the Lonely Heart did the Academy Awards people break down and give him a nomination. Grant plays a restless, irresponsible cockney who seeks a better life but doesn’t seem to have the emotional wherewithal to work for such a life. The hero’s shiftlessness extends to his love life; musician Jane Wyatt genuinely cares for him, but he prefers the company of fickle gangster’s ex-wife June Duprez. June’s former husband George Coulouris convinces Grant that the quickest means to wealth is a life of crime, but Grant drops this aspect of his life to take care of his terminally ill mother Ethel Barrymore. While Cary Grant did not win the Oscar he so richly deserved for None But the Lonely Heart, Ethel Barrymore did cop the gold statuette. Written and directed by Clifford Odets, None But the Lonely Heart unfortunately lost money for RKO, which could have used a little extra cash after paying the expenses of temporarily closing Ms. Barrymore’s Broadway play The Corn is Green.Read More »

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