BARRYMORE, Starring Christopher Plummer, Hits Theaters November 15
2012 Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer recreates his Tony Award winning role in the film adaptation of BARRYMORE, directed & adapted by Érik Canuel, which will be theatrically released jointly by BY Experience and Image Entertainment beginning Thursday, November 15 in New York and Los Angeles. BARRYMORE is based on the play by William Luce.
BARRYMORE will open in New York at the Village East and Los Angeles at Sundance Sunset. Additional US showings will take place from mid-November through early 2013 in San Francisco; Seattle; Phoenix; Evanston, IL; Memphis; Minneapolis, MN; Madison, WI; Sedona, AZ; the Boston, Cleveland, Dallas and Philadelphia areas; and many others. For a full list of participating venues, ticket on-sale information, and to view the trailer, visit www.barrymorethefilm.com.
In 1997, Luce’s play BARRYMORE premiered on Broadway in a celebrated production starring Plummer, who won the Tony for Best Actor in a Play for the role. For the film, Plummer recreated his performance for multiple high-definition cameras, filmed over seven days on location and on the stage at the Elgin Theater in Toronto. The film premiered to acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2011.
BARRYMORE, set in 1942, follows acclaimed American actor John Barrymore, a member of one of Hollywood’s most well known multi-generational theatrical dynasties. No longer a leading box office star, the film finds Barrymore reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess. He has rented a grand, old theatre to rehearse for a backer’s audition to raise money for a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III. It leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life. Directed and adapted for the screen by Érik Canuel (Bon Cop, Bad Cop), BARRYMORE stars Christopher Plummer in the tour de force film performance of his career. The film also features John Plumpis in the role of “Frank, the Prompter.”
BARRYMORE is presented by New York-based alternative content distributors BY Experience and Executive Producers Steve Kalafer and Peter LeDonne, in association with Image Entertainment. The 90-minute film is produced by Garth H. Drabinsky. The film is not rated.
Christopher Plummer (John Barrymore). Christopher Plummer has enjoyed almost sixty years as one of the world’s most revered and beloved actors on screen and on stage. He recently won the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG awards for his performance in the film “Beginners.” Since Sidney Lumet introduced him to the screen in “Stage Struck” (1958), his range of notable films include “The Man Who Would Be King,” “Battle of Britain,” “Waterloo,” “Fall of The Roman Empire,” “Star Trek VI,” “Twelve Monkeys,” and the 1965 Oscar winning “The Sound of Music;” more recently, Oscar-nominated “The Insider” (as Mike Wallace, he won the National Film Critics Award), the Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind,” “Man in the Chair,” “Must Love Dogs,” “National Treasure,” “Syriana,” and “Inside Man.” His TV appearances, which number close to 100, include the Emmy-winning BBC “Hamlet at Elsinore” playing the title role, plus the Emmy winning productions “The Thorn Birds,” “Nuremberg,” “Little Moon of Alban,” and many others. He has received two Emmys and seven Emmy nominations, the latest being for his narration of “Moguls and Movie Stars” for Turner Classic Movies. His more recent film roles include, Pixar’s “Up,” “9,” and “My Dog Tulip,” all animated film projects; the title role in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” directed by Terry Gilliam; and “The Last Station,” in which he plays the great novelist Tolstoy opposite Helen Mirren, written and directed by Michael Hoffman, for which Mr. Plummer received Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®. Raised in Montreal, Plummer began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English and played Cymbeline under the great Russian director, Theodore Komisarjevsky. After Eva Le Galliene gave him his New York debut (1954) he went on to star in many celebrated productions on Broadway and London’s West End, winning accolades on both sides of the Atlantic. He has won two Tony Awards for the musical Cyrano and for Barrymore, on which this film is based, plus seven Tony nominations, his latest for his King Lear (2004) and for his Clarence Darrow in Inherit the Wind (2007). He has also won three Drama Desk Awards and the National Arts Club Medal. A former leading member of the Royal National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier and the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall, where he won London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actor in Becket, Mr. Plummer also led Canada’s Stratford Festival in its formative years under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. This past summer he starred to critical acclaim as Prospero in Des McAnuff’s production of The Tempest at Canada's Stratford Festival, which was subsequently filmed and exhibited across Canada. Apart from honours in the UK, USA, Austria and Canada, he was the first performer to receive the Jason Robards Award in memory of his great friend, the Edwin Booth Award and the Sir John Gielgud Quill Award. In 1968, sanctioned by Elizabeth II, he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada and holds honorary doctorates from six major Canadian universities. He has an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at Julliard and also received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 1986 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame and in 2000 Canada’s Walk of Fame. Mr. Plummer received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival on September 26, 2011. In December, Mr. Plummer was recently seen in director David Fincher’s American remake of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” portraying patriarch Henrik Vanger. Plummer’s unparalleled life is recounted in his autobiographical memoir, In Spite of Myself (Random House), published in November 2008.
John Plumpis (Frank, The Prompter). John Plumpis has been associated with BARRYMORE since 1998, touring the play across the US and in Canada following Christopher Plummer’s Tony Award winning run on Broadway. He is a regular on television series in the US and appeared in the feature “Til There Was You”. A sought after actor on American stages, Mr. Plumpis works regularly in classics (including 24 Shakespearean productions), modern dramas, comedies, and musicals. He received his training at the University of Delaware Professional Theatre Training Program, and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities, as well as the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Upcoming projects include productions of The Tempest and Our Country’s Good.
ÉRIK CANUEL (Director / Screenplay). Érik Canuel is one of the most exciting up and coming international directors. His recent Genie Award-winning “Bon Cop, Bad Cop” took Canada and many foreign territories by storm. He is bilingual (English and French) and works consistently in both languages in film and television. Over the years Erik has directed numerous episodes of television, including “The Dead Zone” (Lions Gate), the pilot for Disney’s “Aaron Stone,” based on the action packed graphic novel and video game of the same name, as well as multiple episodes of the hit CTV/CBS series, “Flashpoint.” Some of his French language hits include “Nez Rouge”, a romantic comedy, and “Le Survenant,” an adaptation of the classic Germaine Guevremont novel He is currently preparing the new IFC series, “Bullet in the Face,” as well as being in active development on the feature adaptations of Andrew Pyper’s Lost Girls, and the Joanne Proulx novel, Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet.
William Luce (Playwright). Playwright William Luce previously wrote the Broadway and London hit, The Belle of Amherst, starring Julie Harris as the poet Emily Dickinson, for which Ms. Harris won her fifth Tony Award for Best Actress. Luce has twice been nominated for Writers Guild Awards for the CBS-TV movies, "The Last Days of Patton," starring George C. Scott, and "The Woman He Loved," starring Jane Seymour, Olivia de Havilland and Julie Harris. He has also written autobiographical plays based on the lives of Lillian Hellman, Charlotte Bronte and Isak Dinesen.
John Barrymore, the American stage and screen actor whose rise to super-stardom and subsequent decline is one of the legendary tragedies of Hollywood, was a member of the most famous generation of the most famous theatrical family in America, and he was also its most acclaimed star. The youngest and most gifted son of performers Maurice and Georgina Drew Barrymore, and brother of Ethel and Lionel, John Sidney Barrymore was born in Philadelphia in 1882. He made his stage debut in Chicago in 1903 as Max in Magda, and then made his New York debut the same year in Glad of It. Supporting roles followed in The Dictator, Yvette, Sunday, Alice Sit-by-the-Fire and Miss Civilization. In 1907, he replaced the leading man in The Boys of Company B and the following year, scored the major role of Lord Meadows in Toddles. By 1909 he had achieved the status of matinee idol owing to his good looks, distinguished profile, quick wit and personal charisma. (Ironically, Barrymore’s real ambition was to become a painter. He studied at the Slade School of Art and at the Art Students’ League before joining the art department of the New York Telegraph newspaper where he worked very briefly). In the 1920’s, he played two roles which were widely acknowledged as the pinnacles of his stage career: Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1923), the latter of which ran long enough to set a New York record and had a successful run in London. Following these triumphs, Barrymore devoted his time to his film career and appeared in one MGM production, Rasputin and the Empress, with his siblings, Lionel and Ethel. After many years in Hollywood—starring in more than 60 films, including such classics as “Grand Hotel,” “Dinner at Eight,” “Twentieth Century,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Marie Antoinette”— Barrymore returned to Broadway in 1939 for a brief run in the comedy My Dear Children with his fourth wife, Elaine Jacobs. Barrymore lived in a world of distinguished theatrical talent. Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) won the Academy Award in 1931 for his role as the alcoholic father in “A Free Soul.” Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an acclaimed actress who supported her brothers whenever she could. Edward (Ned) Sheldon, a popular playwright and theatre buff, was John Barrymore’s best friend. He was well-educated and brilliant, attractive and wealthy. He encouragEd Barrymore throughout his career, collaborating on many plays with him (and others). It was at Ned’s urging that Barrymore became a serious actor. Actress Drew Barrymore (born 1975) is the daughter of Barrymore’s only son, John Blyth Barrymore. Theatre historians generally agree that had Barrymore possessed the necessary dedication and determination, John Barrymore would have been the greatest stage actor of his generation. After 1925, however, the hedonistic actor dissipated his talents. His well-publicized antics were satirized in the character of gadabout matinee idol, Anthony Cavendish, in the 1927 production of the Kaufman-Hart comedy classic, The Royal Family. Barrymore died in 1942, at the age of 59, mourned as much for the loss of his life as for the loss of grace, wit and brilliance which had characterized his career at its height.
STEVE KALAFER (Co-Presenter and Executive Producer). Steve Kalafer, an independent film producer and principal in The Peapack Company, LLC, is a three-time Academy Award® nominee, and has co-produced five films with Peter LeDonne including the Academy Award®-nominated shorts, “Curtain Call” and “Sister Rose’s Passion,” as well as the feature-length documentary, “The Soprano State”, based on The New York Times best seller. In 1998, he produced “MORE,” an animated short film by the young director, Mark Osborne, which won the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award®.
Peter LeDonne (Co-Presenter and Executive Producer). Peter LeDonne, long affiliated on Broadway as a partner in the landmark theatrical advertising agency, Ash/LeDonne earned his place in Broadway history for pioneering the use of live performance footage in a :60 second commercial television spot that transformed Bob Fosse's musical, Pippin, into a smash Broadway hit, forever changing the way commercial theatre was marketed and promoted. LeDonne has subsequently written, produced and directed TV commercials for literally hundreds of theatrical productions, including Nine, Annie, Equus, Evita, La Cage Aux Folles and Barrymore. He has also created television, radio, print and outdoor advertising campaigns for the national tours of rock and pop stars, including Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra, Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, Sir Elton John and many others. With Steve Kalafer and he has produced six films, two of which he directed.
BY EXPERIENCE kicked off the digital revolution of live events to movie theaters and other locations globally with David Bowie’s 2003 Reality album launch and since then, over 15 million tickets have been sold worldwide for cinema events BY Experience has distributed and/or produced including the Met: Live in HD series, the U.K.’s National Theatre Live series, Leonardo Live (February 2012), the New York Times speaker’s series TimesTalks LIVE, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest (June 2011), Red Hot Chili Peppers Live: I’m With You (August 2011); The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax (June 2010), BBC Electric Proms: Robbie Williams (October 2009), the classic music celebrations BBC Last Night of the Proms (September 2009, 2010, 2011), St. Olaf Christmas Festival (December 2007 and December 2011), David Gilmour: Remember That Night — Live from the Royal Albert Hall (September 2007), and the public radio shows A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (February and October 2010) and This American Life – Live! with Ira Glass (April 2008 and May 2009). BY Experience distributes to over 50 countries, to 1,700 movie screens. For more information, visit www.byexperience.net.
RLJ ENTERTAINMENT, INC. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,200 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical. Via its majority-owned subsidiary Agatha Christie Limited, RLJE controls the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billings relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its branded digital subscription channels, and engages a distinct audience with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.