Based on actual events, 'Broadsword' recounts an evening in 1982 during the filming of 'WAGNER', the 8 hour epic movie directed by Tony Palmer, when its stars Richard Burton, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson and Lord Olivier revealed their true feelings for one another - or as close to as great actors choose to get.
This was the only occasion when all four men, stage and screen legends on both sides of the Atlantic, featured in a movie together. Inspired by dinner parties held to relieve the boredom of the hours when the cameras are not rolling, each of the legends organised an evening of food, drinks and a chance to unwind and catch up. The last of these reveries, which was organised by Richard Burton in April 1982 at the famous Palais Schwarzenberg, Austria, is the focus of our attention.
The scene opens to reveal Richard in his luxurious hotel suite looking through his box of memories and souvenirs and preparing for the arrival of his three illustrious co stars John, Ralph and Larry.
Through a simple mistake a young, female, rookie journalist is admitted into the suite who Richard believes is an actress sent by Tony Palmer the director of ‘Wagner’ to rehearse lines for the following days shoot.
Her name is Suzy and once she realises that Richard hasn’t sussed her true identity, does all she can to stay in the room – this could be the front page exclusive to really kick start her career.
Her determination to play along as the actress is heightened when first Sir John, then Sir Ralph and finally Lord Olivier himself arrive at the suite.
The evening is pitted with fun and laughs as the old friends reminisce about past glories but soon the drink begins to take hold and the masks of conviviality slip. The exchanges between the titled legends and Richard become barbed as hidden jealousies, disappointments and straight up envy come to light.
An invading paparazzi, a rubber goods salesman from Bridgend, a hi-end Slavic call girl all add to the circus of characters who come together on that wet and windy Austrian April evening.
Richard Burton had at one time been lauded as the heir apparent to Olivier but in the eyes of many he squandered his rare talent in pursuit of fame, celebrity, privilege, wild living, wealth…women….and drink.
Producers: John Sachs, Andrew Berg & Kimberley Sachs for Eclipse Live, w
Co producers: Paul Tyrer and Jamie Clark from TBO and Michael Park The Infinite Group
Executive Producers: Brian Berg, Stephanie Harris