Too Much, Too Soon (1958)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 121 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Too Much, Too Soon was adapted from the warts-and-all autobiography of actress Diana Barrymore, the troubled daughter of "great profile" John Barrymore. As played by Dorothy Malone, Diana is a basically decent young lady who suffers mightily from lack of parental love. Her famous father, played with boozy bravado by Errol Flynn, is the soul of graciousness and affection when sober, but a human monster when drunk -- which is often. Her poetess mother, Michael Strange (Neva Patterson), is too preoccupied by her bitterness against Barrymore to pay much attention to Diana. Striking out on her own as an actress, Diana vainly seeks personal happiness with several husbands: actor Vincent Bryant (actually Bramwell Fletcher), played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.; jealous, possessive tennis player John Howard (Ray Danton); and another actor, alcoholic Robert Wilcox (Ed Kemmer). Unable to find satisfaction in her work or her private life, Diana follows family "tradition" by turning to liquor; this leads to extended sanitarium stays and innumerable suicide attempts. It is suggested at the end of the film that she is on the road to recovery, thanks in part to her biographer Gerold Frank (Robert Ellenstein); the sad truth is that two years after the release of Too Much, Too Soon, Diana Barrymore killed herself at the age of 39. This filmed version of Diana's tragic life seldom rises above soap-opera level, save for Errol Flynn's knowing performance of his old friend and drinking companion John Barrymore.



actor, affection, alcoholism, career, child, daughter, disintegration, employment, failure, film, girl, humiliation, husband, parent, show-business, socialite, wife