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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 »
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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
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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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fred Howard, who was not seen in movie despite his onscreen credit, is also omitted from an extensive cast list in the New York Times review of 11 February 1932. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
moral uplift skillfully presented
4 May 2011 | by mukava991See all my reviews

In "The Man Who Played God" the venerable George Arliss plays a famous and sweet-natured concert pianist who must cope with catastrophic hearing loss. There are two male-female romantic love subplots, but the story is essentially about philosophical and moral issues. The movie is best remembered not for Arliss, who was the main attraction, but for a supporting role beautifully played by the future screen queen Bette Davis, who for the most part is also very well photographed by James Van Trees, enhancing her unique presence. Amusingly, Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times in his review of the film faulted her for speaking "too rapidly for the microphone." But Arliss himself, as an artist suddenly forced to reconstruct his whole approach to life, is sympathetic and compelling despite the lipstick he habitually wore, in the style of many male actors of that time. He is ably supported by a thoroughly winning cast including Violet Heming, Ivan Simpson, Louise Closser Hale in an uncharacteristically non-dour role as the pianist's loving, intelligent and supportive sister, and even a very young Ray Milland as half of a distressed young couple whose desperate utterances are deciphered from afar by Arliss with the aid of binoculars and freshly acquired lip-reading skills. The studio-created ambiance of bustling city streets, whether "Paris" or "New York," is less phony looking than the usual replications thanks to careful lighting and well-planned camera angles.


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