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The Great Garrick (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 30 October 1937 (USA)
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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(a play for the screen)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tubby
...
M. Picard
...
Luis Alberni ...
Basset
...
Auber
...
Nicolle
...
Molee
Fritz Leiber ...
Horatio
Etienne Girardot ...
Jean Cabot
...
Mme. Moreau
...
M. Janin
...
Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
...
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

Country:

Language:

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 »

Quotes

Tubby: [Indicating to the cook at the Adam & Eve Inn that for his dinner, he would like a large duck roasting over the fire] Oh, so you choose your own here, eh? Excellent, excellent... reserve this little bit for me.
Cook: Oui, monsieur. I'll see you get the bird.
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 »

Connections

Version of David Garrick (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
An almost perfect little comedy
9 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The reviews on here really range from very positive to very negative, and I'm not sure why. I found this a very well-paced comedy that works in great part because the Warner character actors are so good, starting with Edward Everett Horton and Melville Cooper. Cooper in particular gets to do more than his usual upper-class type-casting. (Think *Pride and Prejudice*)

One of the reviewers wrote that he could only remember one scene with de Havilland an hour after having viewed the picture. I would strongly recommend glasses - and a testosterone check. She is astonishingly beautiful in this movie in scene after scene, captured ravishingly by a very sympathetic cameraman. Her part is pretty straight-forward, it's true, and doesn't give a lot of room for acting in a movie about acting

  • and over-acting. But when she's on screen, it's hard to take your


eyes off her.

With no disrespect to her, that may be, in part, because of her leading man, Brian Aherne. His is certainly a major role, and a tricky one, because sometimes he is acting and, at least in principle, sometimes he is not. And there lies the problem. Aherne has chosen to play Garrick as an excessive actor, what we would call a ham. And perhaps that was the style in England in the 18th century. I can't say. But it was very hard for me not to imagine Errol Flynn in this part, and Aherne did not benefit from the comparison. I think the movie would have worked better if the "sincere" Garrick had been played as a real romantic, to create a clear contrast between the real one and the on-stage one. That is supported by his scene near the end where he gives acting lessons to the members of the Comédie française, and emphasizes realistic acting, rather than overly theatrical.

Though I realize that it was the basis for much of the comedy here, I wondered why the premise was that the Comédie française actors all over-acted outrageously. I have no answer for that.

The script here is good, and the directing really first rate. I do strongly recommend this movie.


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