2004: Frank Langella is coming off a tough stretch in his career. His most prominent role in the past few years is as Aertes in an NBC miniseries of Jason and the Argonauts; his performance as “Voice of the Dragon” was just cut out of Red Dragon. Langella shoots an independent comedy called Breaking the Fifth, playing the juicy part of legendary playwright Godfrey Winters, who summons two novice actors to his estate to workshop his first play in years. Langella’s co-stars are a bunch of unknowns and Dom Deluise. The film plays at two festivals and disappears without a trace.
2007: Frank Langella’s career is peaking once again. He just won the Best Actor Tony for Frost/Nixon, and will be reprising the role in Ron Howard’s film of the play. And the filmmakers of Breaking the Fifth start e-mailing reporters, directing them to the YouTube trailer for their forgotten Frank Langella film, in hopes of getting someone interested in releasing the picture into which they poured their hearts and souls. So we’ll bite: Here’s a preview of Breaking the Fifth. Sadly, it doesn’t quite seem to be a lost masterpiece; instead, watch it as an example of how dramatically an actor’s fortunes can turn in a few short years.