The Great Man Votes

The Great Man Votes

John Barrymore
Director: Garson Kanin Cast: John Barrymore
John Barrymore
, Peter Holden
Peter Holden
, Virginia Weidler
Virginia Weidler
Garson Kanin




Ageing, alcohol-benumbed John Barrymore had one last great performance left in him before his death in 1942, and The Great Man Votes was the ideal vehicle for that performance. Barrymore plays a widowed, once-distinguished professor, lately reduced to being a night watchman. He tries to stay off the "hard stuff" for the sake of his two small children, Virginia Weidler and Peter Holden, but his lack of responsibility nearly loses him the custody of both kids. Meanwhile, scheming politico Donald MacBride discovers that his winning the upcoming mayoral election hinges upon one single vote--and guess whose vote that is? With "VIP" status suddenly thrust upon him, Barrymore regains his children, his former status in life, and (as a last-minute plot twist reveals) his self respect. Director Garson Kanin was so anxious to extract a good performance from John Barrymore that he ordered everyone on the set to treat the fading matinee idol with deference and respect. Unaccustomed to such treatment in his later years, Barrymore looked around the set and bellowed, "Which Barrymore do you think I am, Lionel?" Despite his precarious physical condition and his reputation for temperamental outbursts, Barrymore was the soul of cooperation on the set. His fiery temper flared only once, when child actor Virginia Weidler calculatedly attempted to steal a scene from him. Though appalled at the spectacle of The Great Profile profanely chewing out the tiny Weidler, Kanin admitted in retrospect that Barrymore was absolutely right: the kid was intruding on one of the star's soliloquies, and nobody did that to John Barrymore.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2015
UPC: 0888574346447
Original Release: 1938
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:12:00
Sales rank: 43,706

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Barrymore Vance
Peter Holden Donald
Virginia Weidler Joan
Katherine Alexander Miss Billow
Donald MacBride Iron Hat McCarthy
Bennie Bartlett Davy McCarthy
Brandon Tynan Chester Ainslee
Elizabeth Risdon Phoebe Ainslee
Granville Bates The Mayor
Luis Alberni Manos
J.M. Kerrigan Hot Shot Gillings
William Demarest Charles Dale
Roy Gordon Mr. Byrne

Technical Credits
Garson Kanin Director
Jack Hively Editor
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Van Nest Polglase Art Director
Cliff Reid Producer
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Derek N. Twist Screenwriter
John Twist Screenwriter
Roy Webb Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Great Man Votes
1. Chapter 1 [8:12]
2. Chapter 2 [6:57]
3. Chapter 3 [8:01]
4. Chapter 4 [7:53]
5. Chapter 5 [8:17]
6. Chapter 6 [9:42]
7. Chapter 7 [9:20]
8. Chapter 8 [7:48]
9. Chapter 9 [5:33]

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