7.0/10
834
12 user 4 critic

The Man Who Played God (1932)

TV-G | | Drama, Romance | 19 February 1932 (USA)
After losing his hearing, a musician uses lip-reading to help others.

Director:

John G. Adolfi

Writers:

Jules Eckert Goodman (based on the play by), Gouverneur Morris (from the short story by) (as Governeur Morris) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

To share expenses unemployed Alabama move in with also unemployed Bill and Toodles. Bill is hired by a gangster's mistress and ultimately becomes the gangster's bodyguard. Alabama ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marianne falls in love with a con artist who has a hidden agenda.

Director: Hobart Henley
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Bette Davis
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Successful wealthy shoe manufacturer John Reeves takes a vacation, leaving his business in the hands of his nephew. While on vacation Reeves runs into his rival's heirs, who are living it ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Adolfi
Stars: George Arliss, Bette Davis, Theodore Newton
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Warren William, Bette Davis, Guy Kibbee
Hell's House (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.

Director: Howard Higgin
Stars: Bette Davis, Pat O'Brien, Junior Durkin
Special Agent (1935)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Ricardo Cortez
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A tenant farmer's son is caught in the middle of owner-tenant disputes when he falls for the plantation owner's seductive daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan
Housewife (1934)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: George Brent, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Bette Davis, Lewis Stone, Pat O'Brien
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Racketeers flood the market with counterfeit cosmetics and drugs, causing some tragedies.

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Charles Farrell, Bette Davis, Ricardo Cortez
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A prostitute's self-loathing makes her reluctant to marry an idealistic soldier during World War One.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Mae Clarke, Douglass Montgomery, Doris Lloyd
Seed (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bart is a clerk for a publishing company. He has written a novel. His wife Peggy and he have five children. Bart's former girlfriend, Mildred, is manager of the company's Paris office. She ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: John Boles, Genevieve Tobin, Lois Wilson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Arliss ... Montgomery Royle (as Mr. George Arliss)
Violet Heming ... Mildred Miller
Bette Davis ... Grace Blair
André Luguet ... The King (as Andre Luguet)
Louise Closser Hale ... Florence Royle
Donald Cook ... Harold Van Adam
Ivan F. Simpson ... Battle (as Ivan Simpson)
Oscar Apfel ... Appleby - the Lip Reader
Charles E. Evans Charles E. Evans ... The Doctor (as Charles Evans)
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Alice Chittendon
William Janney ... First Boy
Fred Howard Fred Howard ... Man (scenes deleted)
Murray Kinnell ... King's Aide
Edit

Storyline

Montgomery Royle is a famed pianist whose student, the much younger Grace Blair, believes herself to be in love with him. When an explosion destroys Royle's hearing, he is bitter at the loss of his art and profession. His sister Florence persuades him to learn lip-reading as a way to break out of the isolation of deafness. Royle discovers a new meaning to his life when he uses his new lip-reading knowledge to help others. But the new skill has serious ramifications for his relationship with Grace. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'A Modern Drama From Real Life'

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Covek koji se dopao Bogu See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Previously, George Arliss had starred in the play and in the 1922 silent version of the play. See more »

Goofs

When Royle goes to his desk after observing the couple in the park, the shadow of the boom microphone dips onto the window curtain behind him. See more »

Quotes

Grace Blair: You're my ideal!
Montgomery Royle: I shall always be... your friend.
See more »


Soundtracks

Fantaisie-Impromptu in C Sharp Minor, Op.66
(1834) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by George Arliss (dubbed by Salvatore Santaella) at the concert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Central Park benefactor
6 May 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although George Arliss made several of the roles he did on stage into films both sound and silent The Man Who Played God was not one of them. Another stage legend Otis Skinner originated that role on Broadway although Arliss filmed it twice both as a silent and with sound.

We can only speculate about what Skinner did with the part, but Arliss because we have him on film can truly be said to make the part his own. His is a style that many find old fashioned, but I find most compelling when he's performing.

The story is that of a famous concert pianist who was born into a wealthy family so he's never in danger of missing a meal. A bomb set off at a private performance has left him stone deaf and in a great deal of despair. But he learns the art of lip reading and from his Central Park penthouse with opera glasses in hand spies on a lot of ordinary people and becomes their anonymous benefactor.

Bette Davis made her Warner Brothers debut and the first of two films with George Arliss. Davis who was not exactly shy about criticizing her colleagues had nothing but praise for this man. She credited him with being the first to realize the potential she had as an actress. She plays a student of his who mistakes romantic love for an admiration as an artist she feels. She's not given much to work with in the role, but she does far more than could be expected.

Louise Closser Hale as Arliss's sister and Ivan Simpson as his butler who has a wonderful scene preventing Arliss from suicide also stand out. Look also for Ray Milland in a small part as another man on the verge of suicide.

The Man Who Played God is old fashioned in its presentation, but still holds up well after 80 years.


0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed