THE DEVIL has the distinction of being two “Firsts” for George Arliss. In 1908, it became his first starring play, then twelve years later the story was his first motion picture. Mr. A’s six silent films collectively serve as a “dress rehearsal” for his later sound film successes but, alas, only two of the silents appeared to have survived: THE GREEN GODDESS (1923) and TWENTY DOLLARS A WEEK (1924). Then a sole 35mm print of THE DEVIL was found in Canada by a gentleman named Larry Smith, who generously donated the film to the Library of Congress (LOC) where it has been copied and preserved. Recently, Larry uploaded THE DEVIL to Youtube and thus returned this long-lost Arliss feature to general circulation for the first time in over 90 years!
These images are screen caps from the Youtube upload of THE DEVIL, and as a result are low resolution. Your blogmeister has viewed a 35mm copy at the LOC and can assure you that the image quality is excellent.
Mr. A as the “helpful” Dr. Muller adroitly plants all sorts of carnal temptations in the thoughts of his friends.
A young Edmund Lowe seem skeptical of the good doctor’s advice. Lowe would become a popular silent screen star during the 1920s and successfully transitioned to talkies in the 1930s.
Florence Arliss (Mrs. A) also played a role as the aunt of the heroine.
Lucy Cotton and Edmund Lowe as the lovers
Dr. Muller has his own plans for the lady and they’re not honorable.
As powerful as the Devil is, there’s Someone who is stronger.
The Devil goes to Hell-literally.
Hopefully, by now you’d like to see THE DEVIL so here’s the Youtube link. Enjoy!
For more photos, info, and to hear the radio version of this terrific film, please click on the CARDINAL RICHELIEU link on the right-hand column.
It’s the start of Academy Award Season so naturally Mr. A’s 1929 Oscar winner is one of the first films honored by Turner Classic Movies (TCM). DISRAELI is not yet available on DVD so be sure to set your tivo, vcr, or whatever you use for time-shifting so you don’t miss it. See George Arliss and the famous Arliss Stock Company including 19th century players such as Florence Arliss, Ivan Simpson, David Torrence, and Charles Evans. Youngsters include a 19 year old Joan Bennett.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Get your Official 2014 George Arliss Wall Calendar before supplies run out –
don’t wait until the last minute – or until 2015!
Ordering your own Official 2014 George Arliss Wall Calendar is easy – just download and print. This artwork is really the Arliss Archives’ Christmas Gift to the world – you need only provide the printing.
If you prefer a larger size or higher quality than home printers can provide, let me suggest that you copy the calendar to a thumb drive and take it to Kinko’s or a similar digital printing retailer for more options.
If your blogmeister had to name only one George Arliss film to somebody who had never seen any, unquestionably that film would be THE WORKING MAN (1933). Never before available on home video, Warners Archive just released this clever comedy on DVD and remastered the film to help make it look brand new!
THE WORKING MAN was made at the height of the Great Depression when, under the circumstances, it was popular to attack Capitalism and America’s free market economy. But this film shows how Capitalism can be fun and how the free market creates new jobs:
Check out THE WORKING MAN at http://www.wbshop.com
This time we reconstruct the once-acclaimed but now lost silent screen version of DISRAELI of 1921. We spent over two decades collecting photographs and other images to document this first film version of George Arliss’s most successful play. Additional materials include the complete souvenir theater program of 1912, a set of eight original lobby cards from the 1929 sound version of DISRAELI in restored color, and a discussion of Mr. A’s 1938 live radio broadcast of the play with links to enable readers to hear this radio program exactly as it was broadcast live over CBS on January 17, 1938. There is also a “bonus” appendix of George Arliss in 3-D photographs from a variety of his films.
Louise Huff plays Clarissa in the 1921 version
Among film buffs there is probably no other type of movie that captures the imagination as much as a “lost” film. That is, a film where no copies are known to exist. Perhaps the most famous lost American silent film is the Lon Chaney Sr. opus, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927). But fans of the silent screen – and thanks to DVDs and streaming video their numbers are increasing daily – can tell you of many other elusive treasures. There’s a special cachet that grips the imagination and is stoked by surviving photos of scenes from a lost film. Reading the original film reviews only makes the sense of the unobtainable that much keener.
Imagine welcoming in the New Year – in this case 1922 – with Mr. A in person!
I must confess that after completing this photo reconstruction, I had a strong impression that I had actually watched the 1921 film itself. Perhaps this is a presentiment that a print of this DISRAELI will in fact be found. Some fragments are held at the Eastman House of Photography in Rochester, NY, and apparently a film archive in Moscow, Russia, holds some material as well. Until we get very lucky (if ever), this fourth volume in our George Arliss series will be the only record of this classic film.
The 1921 “Lost” DISRAELI is available in paperback (8.5×11 inches) and as a Kindle ebook. For more info, just click below:
No doubt you have wondered what the classic TV show, “Father Knows Best,” would have been like if George Arliss had played the title role instead of Robert Young? Well, wonder no more because this Friday, May 3, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is airing Mr.A’s gem of a family comedy, A SUCCESSFUL CALAMITY at 12:15 PM eastern daylight time:
Mr. A plays Jim Wilton, international financier who has been in Europe for the past year in the service of the U.S. Government. Now back home, he is anxious to reconnect with his son and daughter but finds that their lives have moved on without him.
Mary Astor co-stars as Mr. A’s much younger wife, who in his absence, has become the protegee of a classical pianist. Hmmnnn.
How Mr. A thinks up a scheme to reclaim his wife and children is the “calamity” that he turns to success in this delightful comedy. This film is also a reminder that Mr. A excelled in more than historical biographies. Don’t miss this one!