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Old English (1930)

Passed | | Drama | 27 September 1930 (USA)
An old man unethically provides an income for his two grandchildren.


Alfred E. Green


John Galsworthy (play), Walter Anthony (screen adaptation) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
George Arliss ... Sylvanus Heythorp
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Rosamond Larne
Harrington Reynolds Harrington Reynolds ... Gilbert Farney
Reginald Sheffield ... Bob Pillin
Betty Lawford ... Phyllis Larne
Murray Kinnell ... Charles Ventnor
Ivan F. Simpson ... Joe Pillin (as Ivan Simpson)
Leon Janney ... Jock Larne
Ethel Griffies ... Adela Heythorp
Joan McLain Joan McLain ... Molly
Henry Morrell Henry Morrell ... Meller (as Henry Morell)


Although octogenarian Sylvanus Heythorp is still chairman of a shipping company, he is £14,000 in debt to creditors from a personal loan which he cannot repay. He is well-liked and affectionately called 'Old English' by the people of Liverpool, allowing him to settle a fixed amount to be paid from his salary, which all but one of the creditors, Charles Ventnor, begrudgingly accept. Ventnor asks Heythorp to settle his £300 debt to him in full, but Heythorp refuses. Mrs. Rosamund Larne, the widowed wife of Heythorpe's late illegitimate son, asks for an increase in his support money, among other changes she was forced to make she has eliminated dance and music lessons her daughter was receiving. His grandchildren, Phyllis and Jock love him dearly and call him by the nickname 'Gardy', but they do not know he is their grandfather. He hits upon an idea to provide them with an independent income for life, by buying four ships for his company from owner Joe Pillin for £60,000, and taking a 10... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

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George Arliss and John Galsworthy! The finest actor and the most celebrated playwright combine to create a screen masterpiece. (pring ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lindsey Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Feb. 18, 1931) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


George Arliss is credited as "Mr. George Arliss" on the title page, but the "Mr." is dropped for the comprehensive cast list. See more »

User Reviews

George Arliss is the whole show in this acting tour de force.
9 November 1998 | by Art-22See all my reviews

George Arliss was so revered by the Hollywood establishment that he's billed here, as in some other films, as "Mr. George Arliss," above the title. Although the movie is basically a drama, he provides for a lot of comedy with his antics, and he is almost in every scene. He plays a cagey octogenarian, in debt up to his ears, but still able to provide an income for his grandchildren before he dies, so they can be independent. He does this by somewhat unethical means, and he's found out and threatened with exposure. But the plot is almost secondary to the fun you can get by watching his acting. At a shareholder's meeting, he keeps them waiting while he drinks his tea by first pouring it into his saucer and drinking from the saucer. He was proposing a large expenditure and it quietened everybody down. The eating scene at the end lasts about 15 minutes and is very funny, as his servant continually tries to stop him from the excesses he has in mind. But he is resolute and he is the master, so he doesn't stop. I was a bit disappointed at the unexpected ending, but in retrospect, it was the only way to end the movie. The supporting cast includes Betty Lawford as his granddaughter (a standout), Doris Lloyd as his secret daughter-in-law, Ethel Griffies as his spinster bossy daughter and Murray Kinnell as the villain, all in fine form.

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Release Date:

27 September 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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