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The Bad Lord Byron (1949)

Seriously ill on a military campaign in Greece, Lord Byron dreams of being judged, upon his death, as either a poet and soldier or as a seducer and libertine. Amongst the witnesses called ... See full summary »

Director:

David MacDonald
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Price ... Lord Byron
Mai Zetterling ... Teresa Guiccioli
Joan Greenwood ... Lady Caroline Lamb
Linden Travers ... Augusta Leigh
Sonia Holm ... Annabella Milbanke
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... John Hobhouse
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Fletcher
Denis O'Dea ... Prosecuting Counsel
Irene Browne ... Lady Melbourne
Virgilio Teixeira ... Pietro Gamba
Ernest Thesiger ... Count Guiccioli
Gerard Heinz ... Austrian Officer
Cyril Chamberlain Cyril Chamberlain ... Defending Counsel
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Mr. Hopton
Henry Oscar ... Count Gamba
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Storyline

Seriously ill on a military campaign in Greece, Lord Byron dreams of being judged, upon his death, as either a poet and soldier or as a seducer and libertine. Amongst the witnesses called are his free-thinking mistress, Lady Caroline Lamb, and his more conventional wife, Annabella. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Kvinnorna kring Byron See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sydney Box Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

B.A.F. Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Aubrey Mallalieu. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

mad, bad and dangerous to know
23 October 2001 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

This Rank period drama directed by David MacDonald begins with George Byron on his deathbed, then taking us to a purgatorial courtroom where a faceless judge presides over his fate. Is he to be remembered by posterity as a poet and a liberator, or a seducer and libertine? Witnesses are brought to testify in flashbacks with prosecution clad in black and defence in white, with the set reminiscent of the stylised courtroom used in John Ford's Mary of Scotland. However the legitimacy of this treatment is undermined by the performance of Dennis Price as Byron. Price plays his womaniser like a vampirish Oscar Wilde, with an odd scene of him sharing a glass with the brother of a woman he is involved with, a mysogynistic conversation with a friend - "You're far too bright a flame to be extinguished by a woman's fan" - and a pop psychological explanation given about how his mother treated him miserably and he mistreats women as revenge. It's a pity that the only woman of the 4 associated with Byron presented here as an individual is the one the first to be disposed of. This kind of paper thin betrayal and the dialogue being a series of howlers - "She's purer than the driven snow", "Your British sense of fair play is implacable", "You can't keep an eagle in a cage" - makes the film unintentionally hilarious until tedium sets in. It's no coincidence that the testimony of the defence's witnesses reduce Price to dull sincerity. The society presented here is one which races to buy Byron's first collection of poetry which sells out the first morning it is on sale, then snubs him when his wife leaves him and he seeks overseas exile for a crime presumably on a par with Wilde. Price delivers a speech to the troops which is meant to be inspiring but we observe that it might be more effective if he could speak the troops' language or vice versa, and though Byron moans about his being lame we can't see how it has held him back any. As Lady Caroline Lamb, Joan Greenwood easily steals the movie. Her throaty voice makes her very likeable, and MacDonald gives her a good scene where she cuts her wrist to get Byron's attention, as well pulling the camera back slowly to frame she and Price in long shot for their first kiss.


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