Last night Kristine and I tuned into the 1926 version of Don Juan on Turner Classic Movies. After listening to Robert Osborne’s enticing introduction, I wanted to just kick back and enjoy the movie. But it was not to be.
As with most classic movies I try to watch these days, I keep going back to the Family Forest 2002 Edition for historical perspective. I’m searching to see which of the characters and/or actors are already included in the Family Forest, and how they are related to other famous people and/or people who may also be watching the movie.
When I did a relatives search on the star of Don Juan, John Barrymore, it was not surprising to find his famous brother, Lionel Barrymore, and John’s granddaughter, E.T. star Drew Barrymore.
The surprises came when I was scrolling through the 3,404 names that appeared in the relatives Match List and found Humphrey Bogart, Sir Winston Churchill, Vice President Charles Dawes, President Pierce, both Presidents Adams, both Presidents Bush, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.
I then did a relatives search on the co-star of Don Juan, Lucille V. “Mary Astor” Langshanke. Her list was much smaller (449 people) but I was surprised again, as I also found both Presidents Adams in her relatives Match List.
Two of the key characters in Don Juan are Lucrezia Borgia and her brother Cesare. Both are in the Family Forest 2002 Edition, and Lucrezia is the ancestor of another famous Hollywood actress, Brooke Shields.
While looking further at Brooke Shield’s ancestry (once I begin following my curiosity, it’s hard to stop), I found multiple ancestral lines leading back to the same Eleanor of Aquitaine who was an ancestor of Katharine Hepburn (and portrayed by Katharine in The Lion in Winter, see http://familyforest.com/captainslog/11.html
Other than the inconvenience of running into the other room to check the computer, the Family Forest really enhances our enjoyment of classic movies, and continues to surprise us with the interconnected family ties of the casts, characters, and audience of Hollywood movies.