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The Great Garrick (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 30 October 1937 (USA)
A Paris troupe puts on outlandish performances for a celebrated eighteenth-century British actor in order to convince him of their talents; the arrival of a countess complicates the plot.

Director:

James Whale

Writer:

Ernest Vajda (a play for the screen)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Aherne ... David Garrick
Olivia de Havilland ... Germaine
Edward Everett Horton ... Tubby
Melville Cooper ... M. Picard
Lionel Atwill ... Beaumarchais
Luis Alberni ... Basset
Lana Turner ... Auber
Marie Wilson ... Nicolle
Linda Perry ... Molee
Fritz Leiber ... Horatio
Etienne Girardot ... Jean Cabot
Dorothy Tree ... Mme. Moreau
Craig Reynolds ... M. Janin
Paul Everton ... Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
Trevor Bardette ... 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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladies and Gentlemen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)| Black and White (Turner library print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lana Turner filmed her few brief scenes in July 1937. The was her first time back on a film set after her debut role in "They Won't Forget" (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

Beaumarchais: Nothing in the world is so fatal to the actor as to be found ridiculous. Actors are idols. Idols must be admired. The moment your public starts to laugh at you instead of with you, your hold on them is destroyed. Public opinion is cruel. It changes fast. There's an old saying, 'Ridicule kills,' and it's true.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than saying "Screenplay by Ernest Vajda", the credits read "A Play for the Screen by Ernest Vajda". See more »

Connections

Version of David Garrick (1913) 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

 
Witty and hilarious
19 September 2001 | by Dr_ShafeaSee all my reviews

Together with even more underrated, ONE MAN RIVER(1934), this is probably James Whale's most neglected classic, a witty, self- reflexive, consistently enjoyable 18th century period comedy on the life of egocentric English actor, David Garrick, played to perfection by Brian Aherne. Ernest Vadja's dialogue is clever and delightful, plus a haunting period photography by Ernest Haller. The film also boasts some wonderful cast that includes the lovely Olivia de Havilland, Edward Everett Horton, Lionel Atwill, Melville Cooper, Fritz Leiber, and Marie Wilson.

David Garrick's talent is well-known everywhere in Europe. The film opens in London where Garrick tells his audience that he has a new starring role coming up, guest starring in the production of "Don Juan" with the Comedie Francaise in Paris. While the crowd reacts the news with disdain, Garrick convinces his audience that he is leaving to teach the French. Meanwhile, at a country inn in France the members of the Comedie Francaise are furious about Garrick's insult, so they all conspire to embarras him and teach him "a lesson in acting." The real fun begins when the sly Garrick and his amiable old companion (Edward Everett Horton) figure out the hoax and play along the game.

A true Hollywood gem, there are moments in THE GREAT GARRICK that are quite remarkably hysterical, so funny that the film deserves to be ranked along with the great comedies of the period. Tragically, THE GREAT GARRICK was never released on video. At all cost, I suggest you get a copy and enjoy it. They don't make 'em like this anymore.


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