Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Gloucester's Soliloquy (1928, John G. Adolfi)

TitleGloucester's Soliloquy
Release LocationsUSA
DirectorJohn G. Adolfi
MediumBlack & white video
Length10 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsHenry VI, Part 1 (scene(s))


A ten-minute sequence in one of Hollywood's first talking pictures, Show of Shows, in which John Barrymore recites lines from the minor tetralogy that belong to Richard duke of Gloucester. This would make the film probably the first Shakespeare talking picture. Al Jolson's 1927 The Jazz Singer, generally regarded as the earliest "talkie," had appeared only a year or so before. In the pre-television era, this film snippet allowed millions in the hinterlands to gawk at the fabled Broadway stage star, John Barrymore

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

Richard Duke Of GloucesterJohn Barrymore

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJohn G. Adolfi
EditorBernard McGill

Company Overview

Producer Warner Brothers

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell