I get so sick of people claiming that Bette Davis wasn't a beauty. She is so lovely in this 1932 film - those huge, gorgeous blue eyes, radiant smile, cute figure - she looks like a doll.
This is a wonderful melodrama which was re-made with, of all people, Liberace years later as "Sincerely Yours." All I can remember about the Liberace film is that he soft-shoed off the stage at the end, and I have a vague impression of him starting to go deaf while playing the piano.
If you can get past that the embalmed-looking George Arliss is supposed to be only 50 years old in this film (he was 64 and looks 80), it should be clear sailing from then on. Arliss was a marvelous actor, and his strong theatrical training is obvious here, as is Davis', with her clipped voice and large gestures. Film as a medium was still being learned by these actors who came from theater.
Man Who Played God is a truly beautiful story about a world-famous pianist who goes deaf and turns against his music and his religious beliefs, only to discover that every tragedy in life has meaning. 73 years later, it's still a great life lesson.
Look for Ray Milland in an uncredited role.
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