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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: 19 September 2021

John Barrymore’s Sparkling Topaze

John Barrymore’s Sparkling Topaze

(p.135) Chapter 11 John Barrymore’s Sparkling Topaze
Hamlet Lives in Hollywood

Steven Rybin

Edinburgh University Press

In Topaze (1933) John Barrymore plays Professor Topaze, a principled man who unwittingly becomes a shill for a dishonest consumer product. This essay connects Barrymore’s complex and subtle characterization of Topaze’s existential and career crisis to the public and biographical perception of Barrymore, and also in relation to ideas about melodrama and visibility in film performance. In doing so, the chapter shows how Barrymore’s performance discloses the character Topaze’s discovery of the power of irony.

Keywords:   Topaze, John Barrymore, film performance, acting

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