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The Man Who Played God (1932)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 19 February 1932 (USA)
After losing his hearing, a musician uses lip-reading to help others.

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Writers:

(based on the play by), (from the short story by) (as Governeur Morris) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Montgomery Royle (as Mr. George Arliss)
...
Mildred Miller
...
Grace Blair
...
The King (as Andre Luguet)
Louise Closser Hale ...
Florence Royle
...
Harold Van Adam
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Battle (as Ivan Simpson)
Oscar Apfel ...
Appleby - the Lip Reader
Charles E. Evans ...
The Doctor (as Charles Evans)
...
Mrs. Alice Chittendon
William Janney ...
First Boy
Fred Howard ...
Man (scenes deleted)
Murray Kinnell ...
King's Aide
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Storyline

Montgomery Royle is a famed pianist whose student, the much younger Grace Blair, believes herself to be in love with him. When an explosion destroys Royle's hearing, he is bitter at the loss of his art and profession. His sister Florence persuades him to learn lip-reading as a way to break out of the isolation of deafness. Royle discovers a new meaning to his life when he uses his new lip-reading knowledge to help others. But the new skill has serious ramifications for his relationship with Grace. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'A Modern Drama From Real Life'

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Covek koji se dopao Bogu  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although George Arliss is credited by that name in the cast list, he is also credited as 'Mr. George Arliss' above the title. See more »

Goofs

When Royle goes to his desk after observing the couple in the park, the shadow of the boom microphone dips onto the window curtain behind him. See more »

Quotes

Grace Blair: You're my ideal!
Montgomery Royle: I shall always be... your friend.
See more »


Soundtracks

Fantaisie-Impromptu in C Sharp Minor, Op.66
(1834) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by George Arliss (dubbed by Salvatore Santaella) at the concert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Central Park benefactor
6 May 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although George Arliss made several of the roles he did on stage into films both sound and silent The Man Who Played God was not one of them. Another stage legend Otis Skinner originated that role on Broadway although Arliss filmed it twice both as a silent and with sound.

We can only speculate about what Skinner did with the part, but Arliss because we have him on film can truly be said to make the part his own. His is a style that many find old fashioned, but I find most compelling when he's performing.

The story is that of a famous concert pianist who was born into a wealthy family so he's never in danger of missing a meal. A bomb set off at a private performance has left him stone deaf and in a great deal of despair. But he learns the art of lip reading and from his Central Park penthouse with opera glasses in hand spies on a lot of ordinary people and becomes their anonymous benefactor.

Bette Davis made her Warner Brothers debut and the first of two films with George Arliss. Davis who was not exactly shy about criticizing her colleagues had nothing but praise for this man. She credited him with being the first to realize the potential she had as an actress. She plays a student of his who mistakes romantic love for an admiration as an artist she feels. She's not given much to work with in the role, but she does far more than could be expected.

Louise Closser Hale as Arliss's sister and Ivan Simpson as his butler who has a wonderful scene preventing Arliss from suicide also stand out. Look also for Ray Milland in a small part as another man on the verge of suicide.

The Man Who Played God is old fashioned in its presentation, but still holds up well after 80 years.


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