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Old English (1930) More at IMDbPro »

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John Galsworthy (by)
Walter Anthony (screen adaptation) ...
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Release Date:
27 September 1930 (USA) See more »
An old man unethically provides an income for his two grandchildren. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Early Arliss talkie has residue of silent hammy scenes See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George Arliss ... Sylvanus Heythorp
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Rosamond Larne
Harrington Reynolds ... Gilbert Farney
Reginald Sheffield ... Bob Pillin

Betty Lawford ... Phyllis Larne

Murray Kinnell ... Charles Ventnor

Ivan F. Simpson ... Joe Pillin (as Ivan Simpson)

Leon Janney ... Jock Larne

Ethel Griffies ... Adela Heythorp
Joan McLain ... Molly
Henry Morell ... Meller
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Erville Alderson ... Shareholder (uncredited)
Herbert Bunston ... Mr. Brownbee (uncredited)
H. Cooper ... Westgate - a Shareholder (uncredited)
Charles E. Evans ... Appleby - a Shareholder (uncredited)
Henrietta Goodwin ... Letty - Larne's Maid (uncredited)
C. Morgan ... Winkley (uncredited)
John Rogers ... Budgeon - a Shareholder (uncredited)
Larry Winton ... Clerk (uncredited)
Powell York ... Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred E. Green 
Writing credits
John Galsworthy (by)

Walter Anthony (screen adaptation) &
Maude T. Howell (screen adaptation)

Cinematography by
James Van Trees (photography)
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (edited by)
Costume Design by
Earl Luick (costumes)
Sound Department
C.A. Riggs .... sound (uncredited)
Music Department
Erno Rapee .... general musical director
Louis Silvers .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as a Warner Bros.-Vitaphone Talking Picture)

Additional Details

85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone)
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

The Broadway play of the same name upon which this film is based opened at the Ritz Theatre (renamed the Walter Kerr Theatre in 1990) at 219 W. 48th St. on December 23, 1924 and ran for 183 performances. George Arliss reprises his role for this film as do Henry Morrell, Ivan Simpson and Ethel Griffies.See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Early Arliss talkie has residue of silent hammy scenes, 2 June 2014
Author: SimonJack from United States

Few people today likely have heard of George Arliss, let alone this 1930 film in which he starred. I would be among that group also, but for my interest in cinema, its history, and much to do with the people and products of the industry. "Old English" is based on a John Galsworthy story, "Old Heythorp," and the screenplay was written by Galsworthy himself from his stage play which he renamed "Old English."

While Arliss was one of the very good actors of early cinema, he was one who "progressed" from silent films to talkies. That's my nice way of saying that it took him some time to get over the exaggerated expressions and hammy looks at the camera that were part of the silent era. These were traits in some early Arliss talkies that drew negative comments from the critics. Apparently, he was particularly hammy in some of the biopics in which he acted (films on the lives of Disraeli, Voltaire, Alexander Hamilton, etc.). But he got over that in time and gave some smashing performances.

Unfortunately, this is one of the early Arliss films that has a number of hammy scenes. While the plot is interesting, and his character is very enjoyable, "Old English" has a stagy feel to it as well. The poorer production qualities, with these other shortcomings can't earn this film a very high rating. But it is worth viewing for Arliss and an interesting little plot.

John Galsworthy, incidentally, grew up learning his family's shipping business. Although trained to be a barrister in England, he forsook his education for travel, adventure, and writing. He met Joseph Conrad on one of his early trips to Australia, and the two future novelists became good friends. Conrad was then serving as first mate on a ship. Most people today will know Galsworthy from "The Forsyte Saga," although he wrote many novels, short stories and screenplays. Many of his stories were put on stage and some were made into movies. Besides "Forsyte," other notable films were "The Skin Game" in 1931 by Alfred Hitchcock, "Escape" in 1926 with two films, and others.

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