The House of Barrymore (PDF Download) – By Margot Peters (1990)

  • Alfred A. Knopf New York, 1990
  • Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
  • Distributed by Random House, Inc., New York.

FIVE dollars!” said little Lillian Gish after making her first movie. “For doing so little!” Mary Pickford also agreed that movies were great between stage jobs: “I’m earning more than I ever have before—much more!” “I saw you in the picture play,” said Frohman to his star Marie Doro. “What a lot of money you make!” And there is no use pretending that movies meant much more than easy money to the actors who gravitated to the decaying brownstone where D. W. Griffith and his cameraman Billy Bitzer ground out the one-reelers that were making cinematographic history. Some of the Broadway actors who condescended to a few days’ work at the Biograph studio treated the whole business with contempt. “But from the moment he stalked through D.W.’s door,” said Mary Pickford of Lionel, “we liked him!” His very presence at Biograph reassured Lillian and Dorothy Gish: movies couldn’t be too sinister if a Barrymore was involved. 

The house of Barrymore cover
Helen Hayes, Lillian Gish, Anita Loos and Lionel Barrymore – behind the scenes “Duel in the Sun”

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