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An airplane carrying three Brits--Major Crespin, his wife Lucille, and Dr. Trahern--crash lands in the kingdom of Rukh. The Rajah holds them prisoner because the British are about to execute his three half-brothers in neighboring India. His subjects believe that their Green Goddess has given them the lives of the three Brits as payment for the lives of the Rajah's brothers. They will execute them when the brothers are executed. Trahern and the Crespins must figure a way to use the Rajah's radio to call India for help. Written by
Filmed in 1929 and completed before Disraeli (1929), but was held out of release until later at the request of George Arliss because he felt the other film was a better vehicle for his talkie debut. See more »
An entertainingly exotic mixture of drama, comedy and melodrama.
Although it doesn't start too promisingly, interest rises dramatically once Arliss enters the picture. With his sly, cunning portrait of a well-mannered but vicious despot, Arliss easily out-acts every other member of the cast, though Ivan Simpson enjoys some splendid moments as his dressed-to-the-nines flunky.
The direction, alas, is dull and static.
Production values, laced with obvious footage from Arliss' 1923 version, appear surprisingly meager.
Nonetheless, Arliss is such a skilfully charismatic lead, it would be a shame to miss his fascinating interpretation.
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