THE BAD LORD BYRON (1949)
Directed by David MacDonald
Featuring Dennis Price, Mai Zetterling, Joan Greenwood
What it is: Biography
Lord Byron finds himself on trial in a heavenly court. Was he good or evil?
I love a movie that brings history to life. Unfortunately, this static talkfest isn't one of them. The fantastic content is there in the plot description; it's used as a framing device to set up stories from his life. Like too many cinematic biographies, it's far more interested in his love life than any of his other accomplishments, and most of the movie consists of long conversations between him and the women who knew him. The direction is perfunctory and Price's performance in the title role fails to make the character much fun. You know a movie is disappointing when you see Ernest Thesiger's name in the cast and you almost miss him because he barely registers in his role. Lord Byron could well be the subject of an interesting movie, but that's not this one.