Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Royal Family of Broadway was an abridged but otherwise literal translation of the George S. Kaufman/Edna Ferber Broadway hit The Royal Family. The title referred not to kings and queens but to a prominent theatrical family named Cavendish--based none too loosely on the famed Barrymore clan. Ina Claire plays the "Ethel Barrymore" counterpart, a beloved stage star who wishes to renounce the theatre to marry a millionaire and move to South America. Fredric March steals the show as the "black sheep" of the family, obviously patterned after the rambunctious John Barrymore (March has John Barrymore's legendary gestures and petulant temper tantrums down pat). When it looks as if the Cavendish legacy will break up with the daughter's marriage and the son's peccadillos, the Cavendish matriarch (Henrietta Crosman) delivers an impassioned "show must go on" speech from her deathbed, reuniting the fragmented family. Reportedly, The Royal Family angered Ethel Barrymore to the point of a threatened lawsuit. She need not have worried; despite the histrionic excesses of the Cavendishes in The Royal Family of Broadway, these ersatz Barrymores are depicted with amusement and affection.
stage, actor, affection, apartment, behind-the-scenes, black-sheep, business, career, conflict, confusion, couple, dating, daughter, death, fame, family, generation-gap, heart, heart-attack, humor, idol, legacy, life, marriage, millionaire, mother, performer, platonic, play [recreation], promise, pursuit, show, show-business, sister, society, son, speech, stars [celebrities], tourist, tradition, visit, wish, woman, youth
High Budget, High Production Values