6.8/10
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25 user 2 critic

Prince of Players (1955)

A tragic and sentimental story that depicts the early career of the 19th century American actor, Edwin Booth with some mention of the events leading to the assassination of President ... See full summary »

Director:

Philip Dunne

Writers:

Moss Hart, Eleanor Ruggles (book)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Burton ... Edwin Booth
Maggie McNamara ... Mary Devlin Booth
John Derek ... John Wilkes Booth
Raymond Massey ... Junius Brutus Booth
Charles Bickford ... Dave Prescott
Elizabeth Sellars ... Asia Booth
Eva Le Gallienne ... Gertrude in 'Hamlet'
Christopher Cook Christopher Cook ... Edwin Booth at 10
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... English Doctor
Ian Keith ... Ghost of Hamlet's Father in 'Hamlet'
Bill Walker ... Old Ben (as William Walker)
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Storyline

A tragic and sentimental story that depicts the early career of the 19th century American actor, Edwin Booth with some mention of the events leading to the assassination of President Lincoln by Edwin's brother, John Wilkes Booth. In the film, Edwin's days in the spotlight dwindle shortly after his brother is caught and killed for assassinating Lincoln. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Were the Whispers True?

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1955 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Bezeten talent See more »

Filming Locations:

Lone Pine, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was meant to star Marlon Brando. He wanted a study of Edwin's tragic life (a career ruined by the assassination), not clips of classical plays. Brando later said, "When Fox couldn't get a top-rate actor like Olivier or me, they settled for ... a third -rate performer with even worse skin." See more »

Goofs

When Edwin goes to meet John at their sister's request, the soldiers in the saloon and guarding John Brown's cell are wearing gray uniforms with blue trim. This is Hollywood's version of Confederate Infantry uniforms. However, Brown was executed on December 2, 1859, a full year before South Carolina seceded from the Union. The uniforms should have been Federal regular Army dark blue. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Player within a player
18 November 2006 | by rbillingSee all my reviews

Once past the dated nature of a movie like this from the days when movies had more wordy scripts, we see Richard Burton as a classical actor in his youthful prime.

There is more than one script for this relatively obscure movie. The story of the two Booth brothers, Edwin and John Wilkes, during the Civil War is interwoven frequently with full recitations of Shakespearean excerpts, centuries older. As a skilled movie actor of the mid-20th Century playing Edwin, a leading 19th Century stage actor, young Burton imbues the role with a darkness that became his hallmark in later years.

For an actor known for bringing a more natural style to the Bard's works, Burton had to feel challenged to incorporate exaggerated gestures and profound speech characteristic of an older dramatic age into Shakespeare's lines. At times a play's lines are delivered with a different meaning in the context of the movie.

Maggie McNamara's performance as Mary Devlin, the wife who tames Edwin's darker spirit, should not be overlooked. She has a delicate but assertive quality in this production very different from her role as Maria Williams in Three Coins in the Fountain from the year before.

Overall, an excellent showcase piece for Burton early in his career.


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