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Goldwyn buys Branagh short

Proving love’s labor is not always lost, the Samuel Goldwyn Co. has acquired worldwide distribution rights to director Kenneth Branagh’s 25-minute movie adaptation of Chekhov’s “Swan Song.”

Starring John Gielgud, the short will be exhibited for at least one week on the front of Goldwyn’s Nov. 18 release of John Duigan’s “Flirting.”

Subsequently, Century City-based Goldwyn will likely attach “Swan Song” to its February/March release of Italy’s Academy Award contender “Il Ladro di Bambini” (The Stolen Children).

While Goldwyn’s commercial upside to “Swan Song” is minimal, distribution of the short could enhance audience awareness for the company’s 1993 release of Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” according to Goldwyn production prez Tom Rothman.

Adapted by screenwriter Hugh Cruttwell, “Swan Song” centers on an aging actor’s memories of the Shakespearean characters he has played. Richard Briers co-stars with Gielgud.

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