The Royal Family of Broadway (1930)


“I can give you the names of actors and actresses of 300 hundred years ago. Dozens of them. Name me two 17th century stockbrokers.”- Julie Cavendish

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Jul 2021)

Brief Synopsis – An actress who is part of an acting dynasty contemplates leaving the family business in order to have a family of her own.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while due to the fact that it’s star Fredric March was nominated for an Oscar for his work here.

This was March’s first nomination (of 5) and despite not winning the award this year, he was able to win two times over the next decade and a half – For Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1931) and for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).

The story is very loosely based on the Barrymore family and received mixed reviews from that family themselves on the portrayal of then in both this film and in the play it is based on. (see Trivia section below)

March’s Oscar nomination was quite deserving because of the over-the-top way that he plays the lead character.

The story itself tho is told in a pretty bland fashion and that takes away so much from this being even more engaging and powerful in the way that it shows how a family of actors deal with their work and their own personal lives at the same time.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The Cavendish family is based on the Barrymore family, who in the 1920’s were considered America’s greatest family of actors. Ethel Barrymore saw the play “The Royal Family” (on which this movie is based) on Broadway, and was highly-critical of how her family was portrayed. However, after John Barrymore saw the play in Los Angeles, he went backstage and congratulated Fredric March on his portrayal of the eccentric, hard-drinking actor Tony Cavendish, a character based on Barrymore himself. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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