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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

M. Picard: And remember, the policy of the Comedie Francaise has always been to put the greatest actors in the smallest parts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than saying "Produced by Mervyn LeRoy" (although LeRoy was the producer, and not James Whale) the credits read "Personally Supervised by Mervyn LeRoy". See more »

Connections

Version of David Garrick (1914) 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

 
delightful comedy
3 July 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Brian Aherne is the great actor David Garrick in "The Great Garrick," directed by James Whale and costarring Olivia DeHavilland. The actress was 21 years old when this film was released. The Comedy Francaise, insulted by comments made by Garrick about working with them, decides to give him a night in a French inn he won't ever forget. Knowing he will stop there en route to Paris, the head of the company rents the place for the day, dismissing the staff. The company take roles as maids, waiters, servants, etc. in a play written for the occasion by Beaumarchis, full of love triangles, duels, a crazy man, and lots of noise. What they don't know is that the old prompter, who once worked with Garrick, has gone ahead and warned him of what is to happen. One other thing they're not counting on is the appearance of another guest (DeHavilland) besides Garrick. Garrick, however, thinks she's part of the troupe.

This is a witty, well done comedy. Aherne, an accomplished Shakespearean actor, is great as the egomaniacal Garrick. He was equally good in "Merrily We Live," but for some reason, stopped getting the showy roles, possibly because of Errol Flynn. Edward Everett Horton is excellent as his manservant. The supporting cast, including Lionel Atwill, Melville Cooper, Fritz Leiber, and Marie Wilson are all wonderful. Lana Turner has a tiny role as one of the maids. Olivia DeHavilland is luminously beautiful in a true ingénue role, done before Warners realized what a wonderful actress they had in her.

Very entertaining, and a good chance to see a very young DeHavilland and Aherne shine.


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