Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1917 films completed!

And yesterday, I finished the 1917 filmography on the blog, and it's rather full of wonderful discoveries, especially about the 1917 lost National Red Cross Pageant film. So please take a look and enjoy! Whew, glad that is done.

What happened then, you ask? Lionel and John Barrymore went on to hypersuccess in Peter Ibbetson on Broadway. Mr. B would leave the film world from very late 1917 until 1920, with huge success with John in The Jest, 1919, as well.

But I finished 1917 before the end of 2017! :)


63 years of "manana": Celebrating Mr. B through history

I was unable to think of a pithy title, so I suppose this will have to work. But here it is, 63 years after Lionel Barrymore's death in 1954, and I discovered late what I wanted to post.

I have long, long been curious about his incredible durability and popularity in films--he wasn't always easy to pigeonhole until the Kildare films, and even then, he was capable of non-stereotypical roles in things like It's a Wonderful Life and Down to the Sea in Ships. I realized that I shoudln't really be thinking about the popularity so much as the legend or stories that grew up around him, some abetted by Mr. B gleefully, some not. And yes, some outright lies:
Lionel was the eldest, not Ethel! He never lied about the year, just the day MPMag, 1916


So, to help flesh out the legends of Lionel, here is a background on his name, the associated lore about it, and a variety of pop culture references to Lionel--Barrymore and not!

Mr. B was named, according to Maurice Barrymore's biographer, after an actor friend of his father's, the Welsh actor Lionel Brough (Mar 10, 1835-Nov 9, 1909), seen here in a postcard from 1884. The gentleman lived long enough to be recorded speaking about his memories of some fellow actors and to have seen his friend Barry succeed on stage and sire three children. Brough, is a fascinating figure on his own and probably best known for his role as Tony Lumpkin in She Stoops to Conquer. Indeed, he had a son named Sydney, and given John Barrymore's middle name and its spelling, I wonder if John was partly named for this younger Brough. Check out this other interesting connection with a future Barrymore:
Brough as the Laird in a 1895 staging of Trilby

Brough was quite successful overall. There are almost more portraits extant of him than Maurice Barrymore in his heyday!


I also found this interesting tidbit, for you hound fans:


1906 Reminiscence by Lionel Brough
The gentleman apparently recorded quite a few things in the early years of gramophone, but they're pretty rare. This one was uploaded just this year! Funny stuff, too. The youtuber AusRadio HIstorian notes: "LIONEL BROUGH (1836 - 1909) with one of the earliest theatrical reminiscences ever recorded by the gramophone, THE STORY OF CHARLIE BACKUS AND TONY PASTOR, recorded 22nd September 1906 when Brough was 70 years old. This recollection of the 'low comedian' (slapstick) of the 1860s and 1870s, Charlie Backus (1831 - 1883) ,relates to the alcoholic habits of this member of Moore and Burgess' Minstrels. They were originally known (1840s) as 'The Christy Minstrels'. That was one of the first formal blackface minstrel troupes to tour theatrically, commencing in the 1840s and eventually breaking up in London at the end of the nineteenth century. Brough was evidently a great raconteur, but his seven issued G&T discs and his two Edison Bell cylinders are all as rare as the proverbial hen's teeth. My friend Stephen Langley found this disc with a horde of pre-1907 Gramophone and Typewriter Company discs in good condition in a junk shop in the Western district of Victoria, Australia. I thank him for the opportunity of uploading these spectacularly rare audio artifacts!"

I encourage people interested to Google him! He really was interesting, and I certainly can see Maurice Barrymore being good friends with him.

And, realizing there had to be a "Lionel-day" since good Catholics have name-saint days (though as far as I can tell, Mr. B did not acquire another name in his Catholic baptism, Lionel being a good saint's name derived from Leo through the French), I hunted about for that and the meaning of the names/associations with it:

Quick Facts on Lionel

  • Gender: Boy
  • Origin: French
  • Number of syllables: 2 (not in French or in Mr. B's pronunciation! It is 3)
  • Ranking popularity: 733
Pronunciation: LYE-nul; LEE-o-nәl
Simple meaning: Little Lion

Characteristics of Lionel (fits Mr. B to a tee!)

  • Dependable
  • Solid
  • Practical
  • Hard-working
  • Industrious
  • Studious
  • Conservative

Etymology & Historical Origin - Lionel

Lionel is the French diminutive of the French Léon. Leon comes from the Greek “leon” (λεων) meaning “lion”. The Latin equivalent is Leo; the two names are considered interchangeable at this point. The name Leon has been common among Jewish people owing to Genesis 49:9 when Jacob (just prior to his death) gathers his twelve sons for his final blessing and foretells their respective futures. To his fourth son Judah he said: “Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up…who dares rouse him?” The Kingdom of Judah became one of the two Jewish states (the other being the Kingdom of Israel) around the 10th century B.C. and is where the royal line of David ruled (the capital being Jerusalem). The lion therefore became an important symbol to the Jews. Aside from the Jewish connection, Leonidas I was a 5th century B.C. King of Sparta admired for his bravery and leadership, and believed to be descended from Hercules. The “Leo” names have also been readily adopted by Western Christians since medieval times, as well, given the fact that thirteen Popes assumed the Leo name (starting with the 5th century Bishop of Rome, Leo the Great, who famously persuaded Attila the Hun to withdraw from his planned attack on Rome). Lastly, Sir Lionel was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, the legends of which were popularized throughout Europe in the 12th century (see literary references below). The lion is a powerful and regal animal so it’s no wonder why many people of many different languages have chosen this name for their sons. Leon is the most common spelling around the world and enjoys widespread usage in places like Croatia, Austria, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina. American parents in the United States prefer the Italian Leonardo. Not many people use the Lionel spelling anymore.

Popularity of the Name Lionel

Lionel is a name that’s existed on the American male naming charts since the late 19th century (initial usage was most likely influenced by French-Americans). Throughout the 20th century Lionel saw constant moderate success – neither very popular nor very unpopular. Just consistent. The 21st century has been less than kind to this sweet little Lion, however. Since the year 2000, Lionel has been off the charts more than he’s been on. This one can rarely hang on to the Top 1000 list at all. American parents are going ga-ga over the Italian Leonardo and leaving the French diminutive Lionel at the door. The only form of this name less popular than Lionel right now is the Greek Leonidas. Still, all of these Leo names with the “lion” etymology make great choices for pet cats.

Literary Characters of the Baby Name Lionel 

Sir Lionel (Tales of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table) Sir Lionel is the younger son of King Bors of Gaul who, when his father is killed in battle, is taken by the Lady of the Lake to her underwater kingdom. Here he is raised along with his brother, Bors and his cousin, Lancelot, and they all eventually become Knights of King Arthur’s Round Table. Lionel is ever loyal to Lancelot, accompanying him on his many chivalric voyages and defending him in le affaire Guinevere. Lionel is also, however, a rather hot-tempered fellow, who is angered by his brother’s knightly decision to save a damsel in distress rather than his own brother. Lionel tries to avenge himself on his brother, but Bors refuses to fight him. After a hermit and a fellow knight try to intervene and are killed by Lionel, the heavenly powers step in and send a lightning bolt out of the sky, effectively ending the fight. This seems to have a sobering effect on Lionel, and he repents of his sins. Well-aimed lightning bolts have a way of doing that to a person.

  Popular Songs on Lionel

Lionel Say - a song by Jim's Big Ego
Sir Lionel the Spiteful Knight - a song by Daniel Marcotte 

Children's Books on the Baby Name Lionel 

Lionel and Amelia (Leone Peguero) - Lionel is a very tidy mouse. Amelia is quite messy. And being friends is easy, as long as they both stay true to themselves. This gentle, supportive book about being yourself is illustrated in colorful pencil drawings and is sure to charm young readers. Full color. 

Lionel and the Book of Beasts (E. Nesbit) - What if the turn of a page released the power of a dragon? When young Lionel becomes king, he is told not to open the Book of Beasts. But how can he resist when mythical creatures spring to life right out of the pages? One page that should have remained unturned brings to life a terrifying dragon, and Lionel learns what being a king is truly about. The combined talents of beloved author E. Nesbit and renowned illustrator Michael Hague create a magical adventure for any reader whose imagination brings books alive.

Lionel at School (Stephen Krensky) - Easy-to-Read Puffin Classics. The new school year brings lessons for Lionel to explore with his class. But Lionel has to find out some things by himself. For example, what will his teacher tell his parents on Back-to-School Night? Can the new boy really wrestle polar bears? And how can Lionel make class time go by as quickly as recess? Readers will be quick to identify with Lionel and his friends-and to wonder what Lionel will discover next.

Lionel in the Fall (Stephen Krensky) - Level 3, Easy-to-Read Puffin Classics. For Lionel, fall means starting a new school year, raking leaves, and getting to dress up as a knight and chase a dragon from house to house on Halloween. 

Lionel in the Summer (Stephen Krensky) - Summer is here, and Lionel has big plans. He makes a long list of things to do, from flying spaceships to building castles. But how will he find time for them all? In three other stories, Lionel stays awake for the Fourth of July fireworks, strikes it rich at his lemonade stand, and survives a family car trip. The School Library Journal says: "Children will identify with and laugh with the characters."

Lionel's Christmas Adventure: Lionel Learns the True Meaning of Christmas (Paul R. Hewlett) - Have you ever wanted something you couldn't have? Meet Lionel, a loveable bully-magnet who desperately wants a new sled and will do anything to get it. This fun Christmas book follows Lionel from Larrystown to the North Pole. His magical Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot is back and is as unpredictable as ever. Whether Lionel's sledding, ice skating, or in a life-sized gingerbread village, it takes him on some grand adventures. 

Lucky Lionel (Ken Meyer Jr.) - Follow a boy named Lionel, whose nickname of "Lucky" may not be as true as he would like! Through an eventful day, Lionel learns self confidence while enjoying the fun exploits any young child will laugh with and understand. 

 Famous People Named Lionel -

 Lionel Richie (musician); Lionel Barrymore (actor); Lionel Atwill (actor); Lionel Messi (Argentine footballer); Lionel Hampton (jazz musician); Lionel Bart (British musician); Lionel Jospin (former Prime Minister of France); Lionel Logue (speech therapist to England's King George VI as portrayed in "The King's Speech"); Lionel Trilling (literary critic); AND I MAY ADD: THE INCREDIBLY NAMED LITERARY CRITIC, LIONEL TIGER.
and finally...

Famous People Who Named Their Son Lionel - Maurice Barrymore (patriarch of the Barrymore acting family)

(tyvm ohbabynames.com!)

Other Leonine moments from history:

Pope Leo I, by de Herrera, Prado Museum, Spain

The most famous historical Lionel was actually a Leo--well, two if you count the one who was named after the "Great". Pope Leo I (440-461), saint and the first pope to be referred to as "Great". He was astoundingly influential and powerful--as well as personally strong. It was he who spoke to Attila the Hun in 452 and convinced the raider not to invade Italy. He was an influential writer who promulgated the idea of  papal authority (Petrine supremacy") and the "hypostatic union" in Catholic Christology at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 as well as the earlier Second Council of Ephesus in 449, where his "Tome" was first delivered. His feast day is--I kid you not, November 10, just 5 days before Lionel Barrymore died 1,493 years later. He is still very well-regarded in Catholicism for his influential writings and power (not to mention talking down Attila the Hun!), and is also what is called a "Doctor" of the Church (1754), influential saints with contributions particularly to theology or doctrine.

Of course, in terms of the near-secular, you have the epic Leonardo da Vinci, Lionel (Lio) Messi, and a few more hyper-humans:)

Culturally, besides film, there have been a few songs about St Lionel-- I like this one by The Dostoevskys, an Irish flavored tune:

 Lionel in cartoon and animation:

A Gillespie-esque character in "Nursery Crimes": NURSERY CRIMES

"J. Snuffington Snodgrass", 1943 cartoon, linked above on youtube


Both from Mickey's Big Gala

Simon Bar Sinister, an Underdog cartoon villain, is based in voice and lookd on Mr. B as Mr. Potter, basically:

A few other cartoon or sketch versions of Mr B:
As Father Time in "Our Mr Sun", the only time any part of Mr. B appeared on TV


UB Iwerks Flip the Frog cartoon, 1933, Soda Squirt (on youtube!)
But in the end, for me I'm recalling a man I'm fascinated by in many ways, who really has left a huge trail of influence behind in in many, many ways, Mr Lionel Barrymore. I wish you well in the hereafter, though I think you are well set for eternity.  Here's to you, Mr. B!

NEW FINDS!






Mr B did NOT look like this in the film!
Any my color edit of a 1926 MGM portrait. The smile!



Monday, November 13, 2017

It's coming... National Sam Day and Anniversary of Mr. B's Death

So you know it will be getting involved and busy here soon!

So much more has occurred since the last time this day rolled around--both for myself personally and for my research on Lionel Barrymore. It's sometimes gotten in the way of work and research, in that way life does at times. That and my progressively aging and breaking body makes for a tiring life at times!

I'm not sure what special thing I have in mind yet, as I've been working on several ideas in my head--often when I'm asleep, of course.  But I will endeavor to be interesting at least!

Let me share a small thing I found recently, and the brilliant modification a FB collegue did:



Robert Fells of Silent Films Today on FB and George Arliss' biographer accomplished this splendid feat, meshing John Barrymore as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet with brother Lionel in Paris At Midnight. This is the second of 2 shirtless dueling pics from Paris at Midnight I have found--one wonders what else is out there!


Friday, October 27, 2017

"Almost an insane obsession": a Halloween appreciation of The Devil-Doll

As we reach the season of All Hallows' Eve, I thought I would reflect some on one of my favorite "horror" films, as well as one of my favorite Lionel Barrymore films: Tod Browning's 1936 The Devil-Doll. It was not the first rodeo for the B&B pairing of Browning and Barrymore; they had worked together in The Show (1927), West of Zanzibar (1928), and Mark of the Vampire (1935) prior to 1936. Browning had already directed the influential films The Unholy Three, London after Midnight, Dracula, and Freaks--but after TDD, Browning only directed one more film, Miracles for Sale in 1939. His story is relatively well-known to movie buffs, and is in some ways quite tragic.

But I digress! Mr. B's appearances in his films for Browning were often excellent fits with the director's unique, psychologically challenging, unsettling, yet often humorous approach to material. Browning had been an actor before he began to write and direct, which may have helped him pull good performances from his players. In chronological order, Mr. B played an amoral mobster, an amoral and violent ivory dealer/philanderer, a moral "doctor" of parapsychology who was still involved in manipulative activity (though for highly moral purposes), and a vengeful former banker out to wreak havoc on those who framed him and left him to rot in a French prison for 17 long years but who still possessed a very tender heart.

The vast majority of online reviews tend to open with the "drag" or "cross-dressing" in the film, part of the narrative that allows Paul Lavond (Mr. B) to wander Paris and set his plans in motion as "Madame Mandelip", a gray-haired, beshawled and bespectacled tottering old woman. While I have some background to comment on why both terms used for the disguise are wrong, this is a layperson-audience review, so let's just say it's rather weak to think of the film as weird, odd, or sensational because of that or to focus on it as either perverse or unique; it's the story and well, one acts the story one signs on for! Allow me, then, to open with what I found the most compelling theme of the film: Lavond's lust for revenge combined with his deep desire to be sure the family he has left will be taken care of when he is gone--and he knows, very early on, as the audience should, that he will not be around to see his family vindicated.

The film opens with a dizzying title sequence with a spinning spiral image behind the words:


The film was written by Garrett Fort, Guy Endore, and Erich von Stroheim, with the story by Tod Browning based on the novel Burn Witch Burn by Abraham Merritt (readable online through Project Gutenberg Australia:Burn Witch Burn as serialized in Argosy ). It was filmed under the title The Witch of Timbuctoo. While it was the debut of actress Grace Ford (as Lachna), it was unfortunately the last film Henry B. Walthall (as Marcel, a fellow prison escapee and mad scientist) completed, as he died while making his next film. Walthall and Barrymore of course went back many years, to the Biograph period of their careers, and were in several films together (my favorites being Death's Marathon and The Switchtower). Filling out a fairly impressive cast were Maureen O'Sullivan as Lavond's daughter Lorraine, Frank Lawton as her boyfriend Toto, the awesome Rafaela Ottiano as Malita, and a sinister Robert Greig as Coulvet, one of  Lavond's former partners.

We see Lavond and Marcel, dressed in shabby clothes and cloth caps, crashing their way through dense jungle on Devil's Island as they escape from prison hounded by guards and dogs. There's a brief pause while both men, tired, certainly over 50, and stumbling, speak about escaping and what they are returning to: Marcel to his science experiments, Lavond to revenge on his former partners. Walthall, oddly, was only eight months older than Mr. B, but he is able to seem incredibly fragile, tired, and very old here, while Barrymore looks resolute, angry, and much younger. This will matter later in the film.


Eventually they do manage, after quite some time, perhaps several months, to make it to the isolated home where Malita, Marcel's wife, is continuing his experiments with the help of Lachna, an "inbred German half-wit". The experiments have to do with miniaturizing creatures in an effort to save humanity from starvation.

Barrymore, Walthall, and Ottian0


Lavond is welcomed and observes dubiously the goings-on in the home. I shan't give everything away, but suffice it to say, this look from Mr. B was probably on the face of many viewers of the film at this point:


He explains to Malita why he can't stay and help her and Marcel with their work--he has people to see in Paris. At this point we also discover he was once a successful banker whose partners turned out to be crooks. Later, Lavond is woken in the night by a commotion and goes carefully downstairs to see what is happening.



He discovers that they have moved on from miniaturizing dogs perfectly to miniaturizing humans--Lachna, specifically. In so doing, her brain was somehow "fixed" and she responds perfectly to thoughts directed at her. It is an odd and somewhat sensual-yet-creepy scene in the film.



Of course, at this point Marcel has to go and die:


Malita begs Lavond to help her, saying that can go to Paris, where there are many people, which makes this really quite wicked grin appear on Lavond's face:



From here on out, we have the story of Lavond's revenge play out, tempered by his deep affection for his daughter and elderly, blind mother (played by Lucy Beaumont, who had already played Mr. B's mother in A Free Soul, 1931). While viewers then would have had to buy ticket after ticket to catch all the nuances I can on DVD replay, the scenes between Mr. B and Beaumont and/or O'Sullivan are very impressive and emotionally fraught. Lavond cannot feel safe to let his daughter know who is under the disguise of an old lady and has to listen to Lorraine excoriate her father as a thief and wicked person whose arrest led to her mother's untimely death. As Lavond, Barrymore's eyes well up as he listens in Mme. Lavond's small and cold rooms to the daughter he barely knows but whom he deeply loves tearing him apart.

The action moves fairly quickly once Mme. Mandelip is introduced. Mr. B plays her not for laughs or even for sympathy, but straightforwardly as an innocent old woman with very little guile, an open book. Only rarely do any of his victims or the police get an idea she is not who she seems. Impressive special effects make the miniaturized and mindless tools of Lavond villainous but also allow them to have moments of brief levity in the films as the two mini-humans dance, run, hide, stalk, and commit mayhem for their thought-manipulating master.


Ottiano and Barrymore; Lavond is explaining his next steps, having in disguise just avoided police. There's little funny in Mr. B's expression!
It is a beautifully shot film, with Leonard Smith credited for photography. Browning's own skill at image arrangement and manipulation for effect shows: I found the use of close shots of Mr. B's blue eyes rather effective, and I hope intentional--his eyes still photographed as clear quite often and his unblinking stare to control his minions is disturbing.

Much action and skulduggery take place and a theme threads in of Malita figuring that Lavond doesn't intend to continue Marcel's work--Ottiano is very effective in an often over the top part, especially when she tries to turn the vicious "devil-dolls" against Lavond. Lavond's speech about how little he fears death, indeed expects it, is a mini-wonder of acting in its lack of pathos--he really knew what he was doing, why, and knows he has only one end for himself. Malita, of course, will hear none of it. Much action ensues.

When all is said and done, and it is a highly dramatic and effective conclusion to Lavond's plot, the man arranges to meet with his daughter's boyfriend, Toto, to reveal what has happened and how, now that the remaining crooked partner has confessed aloud, his family will be well cared for and his honor restored.


Here we see Mr. B "barefaced and as is" as he once wrote, speaking quietly but powerfully to Toto all the way up in the Eiffel Tower about his plot, deeds, and hopes for his family. He even seems to have dropped some years from his face, as his vengeance completed now makes him seem lighter in some ways in spirit, though assured of his own inevitable, self-made end.


He ends up getting to see his daughter one more time, though of course she does not recognize him. The four minute or so scene between O'Sullivan and Barrymore is very touching, and he gives a tremendous performance as one forced to keep hidden his true identity and speak of himself as already dead.  His voice hitches a little as he tries to express what he feels, but as a "friend" of her father's who escaped with him, and the tenderness is profound.




Lavond gives Lorraine "her father's" love via a light kiss on her forehead.

...then says the most important thing is to forget her father and continue with her own life. Stunning acting by both.
We are to understand that Lavond is going to commit suicide since he had already sent a letter of confession as Mme. Mandelip to the police and naturally, since his family would be restored to respectability, he would be under investigation as the one who had the most to gain from his ex-partners' predicaments and confession. But he is entirely philosophical about it as he says goodbye to Toto and Lorraine, commenting to the elevator operator who is taking him down from the observation deck of the Tower, "This just might be the best day of my life".



I find I rewatch this film often when I want to relax and can't decide upon a film that might do the job--yes, I know that's odd. And while some critics appreciated it for the novelty and for Mr. B's underplaying, it really ended up becoming a cult classic by word of mouth. The novelty, as Nugent pointed out in his NYT review, of Barrymore playing a little old lady is secondary to the creepy thrills and danger inherent in the idea of little "assassins" (none of the men actually die; the first one Lavond paralyzes becomes one of the mini-minions) sneaking about committing robbery and mayhem.

Rarely was Mr. B shown not in his Mandelip guise in ads for the film.
It seems to me that its true value lies in the balance Barrymore strikes in a potentially ludicrous plot theme requiring a disguise as an old lady and the sinister nature of Lavond's personal vendetta not only for vengeance, but for restitution. As the ad below makes clear, trying to categorize the film is difficult--there is some romance, but we end up far more interested in the machinations of Lavond/Mandelip and frankly, if one watches it with an open mind and little expectation, the guise of Mandelip seems more like a mask than a risible getup. Mr. B's instant ability to step into and out of character was well-documented in other films and comments by fellow performers. In The Devil-Doll, as Lavond/Mandelip he steps in and out of character without skipping a beat and his voice switches from high-pitched and wavering to his own strong baritone just as abruptly and don't allow a viewer to really realize it just happened. I don't think anyone familiar with his long history of work by 1936 really would have been "surprised" by his skill.

Much (probably unfair on both sides) comparison to The Unholy 3


I do hope some will take a chance on this film, which is very enjoyable, interesting, and compelling. It is available for free online, but I'd recommend a DVD of it for best quality. I don't think it will disappoint! Happy Halloween to all and best of the season!

Walthall, O'Sullivan, and Barrymore on set.










Thursday, October 5, 2017

Philadelphia Freedom

...sorry about that. But your intrepid Barrymore-researcher is in Philadelphia these few days in the first week of October (my birthday week!) and I'm having a heck of a time. Here are some pics of special and historic moments on the trip thus far:

Yes, I did see some pretty historic sights--Independence Hall...


Christ Church in "Old City", a really beautiful little church with quite a few historic bones about. I'm a little surprised about PA's apparent cavalier treatment of many cemeteries, but that's another post for another day.

This is an amazing market we had breakfast at the first morning. Note the address too, because the coming pictures generally follow a story:

This is the closest intersection to where "The Tomb of the Capulets", the childhood home of Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrrymore, once stood. The home was owned by their grandmother, the formidable Louisa Lane Drew, and was not very far from her theater, the Arch Street Theater.

And about 200 feet or so from this corner, underneath the huge edifice of the convention center, lies the dust of the Barrymore/Drew home, the place all three of the children agreed was their most stable environment as youngsters. Lionel and Ethel meditate on it in their biographies, John less so. Lionel perhaps hit a nail on the head when he said that Jack's troubled life may have been sparked or provoked quite a bit by the death of Mrs. Drew when he was still a teen.  The children did not spend much time together after Lionel was about 15 and Ethel 14 or so. All had very fond memories of 140.  North 12th Street, Philadelphia, however.

To hell with repining, as the poets said, though! I wandered until I found one of the very few public acknowledgments in Philadelphia's city center of the Barrymore/Drew family, at 6th and Arch streets, very close to the present site of the Liberty Bell and the National Constitution Center:

It was a beautiful, shiny day in the City of Brotherly Love, too.
So of course, I had to take a pic or five! :) It was really very neat, even though I'd been to Philadelphia before and quite like it (as I do all historic cities), I hadn't bothered to work out Barrymore-tourism like I did this time. I plan on adding a few more images later as I come by them.

At 6th and Arch streets, where Mrs. Drew's Arch Street Theatre once stood.


So thank you, John, Ethel, and particularly for me, Lionel, for all the lovely work you left in the world, and thank you Mrs. Drew for being so damn kickass back when women just didn't run theaters, dammit. Because had your husband run it...well, John Drew was not apparently a very sound business person. Perhaps that (and their dad) is where all the Barrymore kids got their profound inability to manage money.

With luck, I'll find more clues and pics later--the home John was born in is gone and only a vacant lot next to a park marks it, across the river from the Tomb of the Capulets. St. Stephen's Church and whichever Catholic church Georgie took her wee converted children to await!