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The Bad Lord Byron (1949)

5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 63 users  
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Seriously ill on a military campaign in Greece, Lord Byron dreams of being judged on his death between being on the one hand a poet and soldier, or on the other a seducer and libertine. ... See full summary »

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Title: The Bad Lord Byron (1949)

The Bad Lord Byron (1949) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Cast

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Linden Travers ...
Sonia Holm ...
Raymond Lovell ...
Leslie Dwyer ...
Denis O'Dea ...
Prosecuting Counsel
Irene Browne ...
Virgilio Teixeira ...
Ernest Thesiger ...
Gerard Heinz ...
Austrian Officer
Cyril Chamberlain ...
Defending Counsel
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Mr. Hopton
Henry Oscar ...
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Storyline

Seriously ill on a military campaign in Greece, Lord Byron dreams of being judged on his death between being on the one hand a poet and soldier, or on the other a seducer and libertine. Amongst the witnesses called are the infamous Lady Caroline Lamb and his somewhat purer wife Annabella. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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Drama

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26 August 1949 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

The Bad Lord Byron  »

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1.37 : 1
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Trivia

In the scenes showing Byron's London club, the poet's own dining table and chairs are shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Terence Young: Bond Vivant (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Eternal Jury
19 December 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The eternal fate of Lord Byron is decided in this film which seems to give the verdict already in The Bad Lord Byron. Byron's story and fate is decided and we see it by pieces in true Citizen Kane tradition.

The film flopped horribly for J. Arthur Rank and no doubt sealed the fate of Dennis Price as a leading man which began so promisingly in Kind Hearts and Coronets. In fact Price plays Byron in much the same manner he played Louis Mazzini in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

The film opens at the very end of Byron's life where he's lying ill of a fatal fever during the Greek War of Independence where he had gone to serve. As he's in his last stages of delirium, a heavenly court is convened to decide his eternal fate.

Citizen Kane is not the only influence on The Bad Lord Byron, the whole concept of the heavenly court is taken from The Michael Powell film, A Matter of Life and Death where David Niven was having his fate decided before a much more majestic heavenly judge.

Yet I think The Bad Lord Byron could have used the touch of an Orson Welles. The whole thing is rather too pedestrian.

Dennis Price does OK with the material and direction he got. Mai Zetterling as the Italian countess who awoke Byron's political consciousness and Joan Greenwood as the infamous Lady Caroline Lamb stand out as well.

The real Lord Byron wasn't a patch on what Dennis Price gives us. He was all the things his life shows us, an adventurer, a politician, a poet of the first rank, a lover of freedom. He was also one of the most notorious rakes in history leaving a trail of broken female and male hearts throughout Europe. He might also have had an affair with his half sister.

So if you were on Lord Byron's eternal jury where would you put him?


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