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Hamlet Lives in HollywoodJohn Barrymore and the Acting Tradition Onscreen$
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Murray Pomerance and Steven Rybin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411394

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411394.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Power of Stillness: John Barrymore’s Performance in Svengali

The Power of Stillness: John Barrymore’s Performance in Svengali

(p.85) Chapter 7 The Power of Stillness: John Barrymore’s Performance in Svengali
Hamlet Lives in Hollywood

Diane Carson

Edinburgh University Press

This essay examines the verbal and nonverbal characteristics of Barrymore’s performance as Svengali in the 1931 film of the same name. German Expressionism influences the art direction and the acting flourishes, but Barrymore’s performance controls and anchors the film. Svengali’s hypnotic manipulation of Trilby, and her singing and interaction with others, offers a fruitful area for analysis of performance’s relation to gender politics.

Keywords:   Svengali, John Barrymore, acting, gender, performance, politics

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