This was the first movie Bette Davis made under her contract to Warner Bros., the studio under which she did most of her best known work of the 1930s and '40s. Her earlier six films were made for Universal, who let her go after one year of lackluster performances. See more »
An aging & celebrated concert pianist completely loses his hearing, and with it his faith in The Almighty. After learning to lip read, he realizes he can once again enter into people's lives, alleviating the misfortunes of total strangers. With this much power to do good, he becomes THE MAN WHO PLAYED GOD.
Although sadly neglected today, George Arliss was one of the very greatest of film actors of the 1930's. His art was consummate - a whole volume of emotion could be conveyed by the slightest movement of face or posture. He gives a wonderful performance here as a man torn from what he loves the most, blaming God for it and eventually finding peace.
A splendid actress of the same period, Louise Closser Hale gives quiet dignity to the role of Arliss' sister. As his protégé, young Bette Davis does a fine job; she always considered this to be her first film role of substance. Ivan F. Simpson is excellent as a very loyal butler. Hedda Hopper has a tiny role as a woman at a picnic & look for an uncredited Ray Milland as a young man in Central Park attempting suicide.
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