6.7/10
127
7 user 2 critic

Voltaire (1933)

Writer and philosopher Voltaire, loyal to his king, Louis XV of France, nonetheless writes scathingly of the king's disdain for the rights and needs of his people. Louis admires Voltaire ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Voltaire
... Mme. Pompadour
... Nanette
... Count De Sarnac
... King Louis XV
... Francois
... The Captain
... Dr. Tronchin
... Emile - Voltaire's Servant
... Mme. Clairon - Actress
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Storyline

Writer and philosopher Voltaire, loyal to his king, Louis XV of France, nonetheless writes scathingly of the king's disdain for the rights and needs of his people. Louis admires Voltaire but is increasingly influenced against him by his minister, the Count de Sarnac. Louis's mistress, the courtesan Madame de Pompadour, is Voltaire's protector and advocate, but even she has difficulty preserving his welfare when Voltaire publicly excoriates the king for the wrongful execution of one of his subjects, Calas. Voltaire gives refuge to Calas's daughter and endeavors to show the king the error of his ways. But the Count de Sarnac, with an agenda of intrigue and disloyalty, determines to do away with the troublesome Voltaire. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Beautiful women were pawns in the dangerous game he played with kings and nations! See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

5 August 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Affairs of Voltaire  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the onscreen source of the movie is a novel, it was never published. But modern sources say George Gibbs and E. Lawrence Dudley wrote a play for George Arliss, and it was the source adapted for the movie. The play also was never published or even produced. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Upper World (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played as part of the score at the end
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User Reviews

 
The Play's the Thing
24 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

"France - in the year 1762 - with its sumptuous and lavish court - was in a corrupt and bankrupt state. One man dared to speak out for the rights of an oppressed people. With a pen that dripped venom, he attacked intolerance and injustice. He educated the masses to think and act. This was the forerunner of the French Revolution, that gave the world the present Great Republic of France. This man - a hundred years ahead of his time - was Voltaire, the great mocker, the great wit, the great humanitarian of the 18th century," gives us a fine description of setting. The opening coach passing peasants on the street is a defining visual...

Once considered a friend of the French court, coffee-lover George Arliss (as Voltaire) stirs the masses with his revolutionary pamphlets. At first, white-wigged Reginald Owen (as King Louis XV) ignores his advisers' warnings about Mr. Arliss' treasonous activity. Arliss maintains a close friendship with King's mistress Doris Kenyon (as Madame Pompadour). With her help, he takes a cue from Shakespeare, "The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King." The staged production only makes matters worse, but Arliss has more up his sleeve. This story never rises far above star vehicle status, but Arliss is always worth watching.

****** Voltaire (8/5/33) John G. Adolfi ~ George Arliss, Doris Kenyon, Alan Mowbray, Reginald Owen


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