Behind the Scenes

Everybody seems to enjoy production photos that take us behind the scenes on the sets during filming.  Production photos from the Arliss films are comparatively scarce so I thought it might be a good idea to collect the ones we have in one category.

The principal actors in CARDINAL RICHELIEU (1935) form an oasis of calm in the midst of the bustling crew as a shot is prepared for the “Palace Garden” scene. The lady to the left of Arliss is Maude Howell, one of the few women executives in Hollywood at the time, thanks to Arliss. The actor smoking on the right is Douglas Dumbrille who plays Baradas, the villain of the film. The gentleman wearing the plumed hat seated with his back to the camera is Edward Arnold as King Louis XIII.

THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD (1934): Arliss as Nathan Rothschild arrives at the London Stock Exchange on the backlot of 20th Century Pictures. Note the microphone boom over the actor playing the coach driver. He complains to Nathan that even Rothschild’s own daughter, Miss Julie, gives him a larger tip. Nathan explains, “Miss Julie has a wealthy father, I haven’t.”

Arliss reviews his lines between takes in THE MAN WHO PLAYED GOD (1932). Note the makeup tables and mirrors located just off the set.

Another photo from THE MAN WHO PLAYED GOD with venerable actress Louise Closser Hale. The blocks under the sofa are not visible in the movie itself. Why the blocks? My guess is to make sitting down or standing up from the sofa a bit more graceful.

Arliss lights one of his specially-made gold tip cigarettes. If the star had a special chair on the set, he apparently didn’t use it.

We’ve run this before but you should click on the photo to enlarge to see all the details. Arliss is in the uniform as the camera mounted on wheels follows him over to the staircase. The man in the dark suit and light hat is director John Adolfi. Note the makeup tables and mirrors to the extreme right. THE KING’s VACATION (1933).

Another encore but this is the only photo I’ve come across (so far) of Arliss ready for a take with the clapboard man standing there. Actress Maude Leslie on the left awaits her cue to enter the scene. THE KING’S VACATION.

Finally, a stunning shot from THE KING’S VACATION (1933) shows Mr. A conferring with the wardrobe lady while the assistant director (seated back to camera) awaits the outcome:

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 11:00 PM  Leave a Comment  

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