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The Great Garrick (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  30 October 1937 (USA)
6.9
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The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tubby
Melville Cooper ...
M. Picard
...
Luis Alberni ...
Basset
...
Auber
Marie Wilson ...
Nicolle
Linda Perry ...
Molee
Fritz Leiber ...
Horatio
Etienne Girardot ...
Jean Cabot
Dorothy Tree ...
Mme. Moreau
Craig Reynolds ...
M. Janin
Paul Everton ...
Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
Trevor Bardette ...
M. Noverre
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Storyline

The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important theatre in France. Before his departure for Paris he is mistakenly quoted as saying that he is 'going to France to teach the French how to act'. The Comedie Francaise actors and director hear about this and take this as a serious insult and thus plot to embarrass The Great Garrick when he gets to France with a great big prank. The Comedie Francaise troupe takes over an inn on Garrick's road to Paris where he spends the night. What the Comedie Francaise actors don't know is that The Great Garrick is in on the joke and just plays along. A wrench is thrown into the plot when a lone, lovely traveler (Olivia de Havilland who was later Aherne's sister-in-law), who is not part of the prank, shows up looking for a room at the inn that the Comedie Francaise troupe has taken over. Garrick treats her as though ... Written by Lisa Rome

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladies and Gentlemen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sepiatone)| (Turner library print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened in London, England, UK on 18 May 1937. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie the road sign gives the distance to Paris in kilometers. The movie takes place in the 1750's; the metric system was introduced in 1799 after the French Revolution. See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than saying "Screenplay by Ernest Vajda", the credits read "A Play for the Screen by Ernest Vajda". See more »

Connections

Version of David Garrick (1912) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
In the score when the Paris title is shown
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User Reviews

 
It's alive! ... sometimes
28 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ernest Vajda's "play for the screen" revolves about a fictional encounter between the celebrated 18th-century English actor David Garrick and the members of the equally celebrated Comedy Francaise at a country inn.

Under the direction of the estimable James Whale, the film is generally lively but sometimes sags with too much talk. It also benefits from a team of choice supporting actors (Melville Cooper, Lionel Atwill, and especially Edward Everett Horton and Etienne Giradot) who come to the rescue with inspired line readings or bits of business. A theatrical spirit prevails. Heading the cast is Brian Aherne as Garrick who gets a rare chance to chew the scenery and does so in high style. But we never know from this scenario whether Garrick was really great or just a charming ham. When does the acting stop and the real Garrick take over? The line between the two is not clear here. Maybe it's not meant to be.

The story: the French troupe, having heard a false rumor that the visiting Garrick arrogantly intends to teach them how to act, impersonates the staff and guests of a country inn where they know Garrick will be staying on his way to Paris, with the intention of devising such mayhem that Garrick will bolt in terror, whereupon they will reveal who they really are, proving they are indeed great actors, and humiliate him. But he sees through the ruse and turns the tables on them.

Olivia DeHavilland, effective in an early role, turns up at the inn as a young woman fleeing an arranged marriage and falls in love with Garrick, who spurns her, thinking she too is part of the collective trickery (as the film's trailer states, he "couldn't tell the difference between real love and bad acting").


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