On Borrowed Time

On Borrowed Time

Lionel Barrymore
Director: Harold S. Bucquet Cast: Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
, Cedric Hardwicke
Cedric Hardwicke
, Una Merkel
Una Merkel
Harold S. Bucquet

DVD (B&W / Full Frame)

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Old Gramps (Lionel Barrymore) is not about to go gentle into that good night when Mr. Brink (Cedric Hardwicke), who sometimes travels under the name of the Grim Reaper, comes calling. Through a ruse, Gramps chases Brink up a tree in his garden, rendering the mysterious stranger helpless. As a result, no one dies throughout the world, and disease and misery runs rampant. Dispassionately, Mr. Brink decides to "reach" Gramps through his beloved grandson (Bobs Watson). He talks the boy into climbing the tree and then suffering a crippling fall. Realizing that the only way he can stem his grandson's pain is by surrendering to Mr. Brink, Gramps does so--and discovers that Crossing Over wasn't as painful as he thought. Together with his grandson, who has likewise expired, Gramps joyfully strolls into a most pastoral-looking Heaven. The final shots of Lionel Barrymore walking into Paradise under his own power represent a triumph of misdirection and special effects. In truth, the wheelchair-confined Barrymore was placed on a treadmill, and merely simulated his walking movements as a process screen enhanced the illusion; for long shots, a double was used. While Barrymore's performance naturally dominates On Borrowed Time, Cedric Hardwicke is equally effective in the role of Mr. Brink (his favorite role). A great early vignette finds a consumptive motorist (Hans Conried) offering Brink a lift; the latter waves the motorist on, politely saying "No, not yet." On Borrowed Time was based on the novel by Lawrence Edward Watkin and the popular Broadway play version by Paul Osborne.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/23/2009
UPC: 0883316140208
Original Release: 1939
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Presentation: [B&W, Full Frame]
Time: 1:39:00
Sales rank: 5,309

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lionel Barrymore Julian Northrup, "Gramps"
Cedric Hardwicke Mr. Brink
Una Merkel Marcia Giles
Beulah Bondi Nellie
Bobs Watson Pud
Nat Pendleton Mr. Grimes
Henry Travers Dr. Evans
Grant Mitchell Mr. Pilbeam
Eily Malyon Demetria Riffle
James Burke Sheriff Burlingame
Ian Wolfe Charles Wentworth
Phillip Terry Bill Lowry
Truman Bradley James Northrup

Technical Credits
Harold S. Bucquet Director
George Boemler Editor
Jack Dawn Makeup
John S. Detlie Art Director
Sidney Franklin Producer
Sidney Franklin Producer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Alice Duer Miller Screenwriter
Frank O'Neil Screenwriter
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Dolly Tree Costumes/Costume Designer
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Claudine West Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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