Too Much, Too Soon 1958 – Dorothy Malone

Too Much, Too Soon is a 1958 biographical film about Diana Barrymore produced by Warner Bros. It was directed by Art Napoleon and produced by Henry Blanke[2] from a screenplay by Art Napoleon and Jo Napoleon, based on the autobiography by Diana Barrymore and Gerold Frank. The music score was by Ernest Gold and the cinematography by both Nicholas Musuraca and Carl E. Guthrie. Diana died in 1960, two years after the release of this film.

The film stars Dorothy Malone and Errol Flynn (playing his real-life friend and mentor John Barrymore), with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Ray Danton, Neva Patterson, Murray Hamilton and Martin Milner.


Fourteen-year-old Diana Barrymore is being raised by her domineering mother, a poet. Her father, the famed actor John Barrymore, has not laid eyes on Diana for 10 years, but they share an evening on his boat before John abandons her again.

At 18, Diana has become an actress and has a steady boyfriend, Lincoln Forrester. When a Hollywood contract comes her way, Diana’s mother warns her not to live with John, now a washed-up alcoholic.

She finds her father living in a nearly empty mansion, having sold or pawned his belongings to pay his bills. He keeps a bald eagle in a cage indoors and has a servant, Gerhardt, who must physically knock out John to put him to bed.

Diana’s famous name gains her some publicity, but her performances are panned. Her new husband, actor Vince Bryant, is away a lot, so Diana turns to drink and leaves Vince for tennis player John Howard. When her father dies alone, a penniless and often drunk Diana and her husband move in with her mother, who can only stand so much before making them leave.

After marrying again, this time to recovering alcoholic Bob Wilcox, she discovers after her mother’s death that she has been left no inheritance. Diana takes demeaning jobs, including a striptease. She becomes violent and is hospitalized. Her only hope at salvation is an offer to write her memoirs, and old friend Linc returns to her life, offering some badly needed kindness.


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