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Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance business following the Battle of Trafalgar. Only very slightly based on history. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
When Angerstein explains to young Blake the importance of British commerce, he conjures up English ships sailing to "...Hong Kong, Cape Town, Bombay...," he does this in the year 1770. Hong Kong was not an important port for British trade until it became a British colony in 1842, more than seventy years later. See more »
We acknowledge with appreciation the assistance of the official historian of Lloyds of London in the preparation of the historical background for this production. See more »
Tyrone Power was only 21 (assuming this film was made in 1935 and released in 1936) with a few films and Broadway credits when he was given his first major role in "Lloyds of London." This film was originally assigned to Don Ameche, but Henry King insisted on testing Power and, on viewing the test, told Zanuck he wanted the young man for the role. "In two years," King told Zanuck, "he will be one of the biggest stars ever." Good instincts. Power plays Jonathan Blake, a fictional character, whose childhood friendship with Horatio Nelson helps Nelson through the Napoleonic war. Blake becomes one of the syndicate owners at Lloyd's of London and, against every other syndicate, continues insuring the damaged British fleet so that Nelson has all the power necessary to defeat the French.
The radiant Madeline Carroll is Power's love interest and George Sanders is her cad husband. Sanders worked with Power on many films, including the one Power was making when he died 22 years later. Virginia Field is Polly, a young waitress in love with Jonathan, but it's unrequited.
The acting is top-notch, including beautiful performances from Freddie Bartholomew and Douglas Nelson as the young Blake and Nelson. Sir Guy Standing is marvelous as Power's mentor. Power is gorgeous, with his unlined face (even with a streak of gray hair as he ages -"Zanuck would never let me age in any film," he once said) and the world's longest eyelashes, and his acting is excellent. He carries the bulk of the film beautifully, conveying a strong presence, though he merely suggests an English accent. Darryl F. Zanuck was his biggest fan and for good reason, as the actor would bring in hit after hit during his long tenure at Twentieth Century Fox.
This is a great period piece, interesting as well as touching. Highly recommended.
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