John Barrymore


A rare glimpse behind the scenes of a silent film, The Sea Beast (1926). Note the violinist, providing mood music for the performers, John Barrymore and his bride-to-be Dolores Costello. Not that they needed it. As you can see, the kiss gets a bit out of hand. Even director Millard Webb yelling “Cut!” didn’t work; he finally had to step in and break them apart! (Oh, and please click on the gifs for larger versions.)

Vicki Baum (the author of Grand Hotel) for Modern Screen:

If I say that Greta Garbo as the dancer is much better than I expected, that’s not of small consequence. For I expected the utmost. I expected that she’d be Greta Garbo and that would have been enough! But this time she did more than usual. She played, so to speak, two roles. First, the weary, lonely dancer, aching for success–and then the awakened woman experiencing a great love. I’ve always maintained that the ability to transform one’s self constitutes great acting.

Grand Hotel (1932) directed by Edmund Goulding