The Great Garrick (1937)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  30 October 1937 (USA)
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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 overview, first billed only:
Melville Cooper ...
M. Picard
Luis Alberni ...
Marie Wilson ...
Linda Perry ...
Fritz Leiber ...
Etienne Girardot ...
Jean Cabot
Dorothy Tree ...
Mme. Moreau
Craig Reynolds ...
M. Janin
Paul Everton ...
Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
M. Noverre


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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ladies and Gentlemen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


(Sepiatone)| (Turner library print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Henry O'Neill' is listed in studio records for the role "Sir Joshua Reynolds". Although the character is mentioned, he is not seen in the movie. See more »


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 "Produced by Mervyn LeRoy" (although LeRoy was the producer, and not James Whale) the credits read "Personally Supervised by Mervyn LeRoy". See more »


Version of David Garrick (1914) See more »


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

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User Reviews

The prompter saves the day
11 May 2003 | by (Maryland, USA) – See all my reviews

Kudos for this under-rated costume farce. It was included in Olivia de Havilland's TCM special, but she has a relatively small though choice role in it. Brian Aherne is surprisingly good as Garrick, the leading English actor of his day, cutting a tall, strikingly handsome figure in rococco-wear and powdered wig, delivering the staged lines with considerable panache. He is certainly every bit a match for Errol Flynn and the movies he shared with de Havilland, but it's a mystery why Aherne was only cast in this one. Olivia was quite young and very radiant, playing a mistaken-identity sweetheart-contessa type that she will repeat many times, possibly too often, in her career(eg, The Ambassador's Daughter, Princess O-Rourke). The take-off on the Comedie Francaise as bungling ham actors is priceless in itself. Certainly the director, screen writer and anyone else who took part in the production should be noted, for the fast, slightly frenetic pacing of the lines and timing of the repartee are key aspects of the success and they weren't necessarily transferrable to other movies by the same director and writer.

Special notice should be given to Etienne Giradot, who plays the prompter with a conscience who gets batted about for speaking the truth and showing up his jingoist "betters" with his honesty. His intermittent appearances, starting at the beginning and then at the end, in his prompter's box, are almost worth the price of admission. Those who have seen "The Kennel Murder Case" with William Powell, will remember Giradot as the doctor/undertaker who never gets to finish a meal. With an actor of such a unique personality, yet so perfectly cast in both supporting roles, one wonders whether if he was simply playing himself, or whether the parts were tailored for him. Four stars **** out of four.

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