Winning New Friends-Alexander Hamilton (1931): Another Coming Attraction!

Somehow the caption, “Hamilton is the hero of the people,” doesn’t quite work with this photo. But with George Arliss in the the title role, find out how he turns those jeers into cheers. Film buffs will recognize veteran character actor Russell Simpson on the far left playing an old Revolutionary War veteran. To his right most prominently tall is Charles Middleton, a well-known supporting actor usually cast as villains (e.g., Emperor Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon serials). Curiously, the cast log for HAMILTON lists Middleton as playing John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but this character never appears in the finished film and all we have of Mr. M is this uncredited bit (he’ll never get to the Supreme Court this way!):

CHECK BACK SOON for more Coming Attractions as our launch date of July 4th for ALEXANDER HAMILTON nears!

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 5:21 PM  Leave a Comment  

More HAMILTON Coming Attractions!

Mr. A was understated, among many other things. In ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1931) his two great adversaries are Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Yet all three men number among our heroic Founding Fathers – so how can Mr. Tom and Mr. Jim possibly be villains? They certainly don’t DO anything villainous within the context of the film. The solution for Mr. A was as simple as it was ingenious – cast actors well-known for playing bad guys as Jefferson and Monroe. Movie audiences tend to bring their perceptions of actors in character with them from film to film, especially when the actor in question is almost always cast as the villain.

Here is typecast bad guy Morgan Wallace, as James Monroe, and super villain Montagu Love (he was killed off by the best including Rudolph Valentino and John Barrymore) as Thomas Jefferson. Mr. A as Hamilton probably would prefer to keep company with Aaron Burr:

Please check back here throughout June for more updates as our target date to launch – July 4th – nears!

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 11:07 AM  Leave a Comment  

Alexander Hamilton – Just in Time for July 4th!

Mr. A’s co-author on his 1917 play, Alexander Hamilton, was Mary Hamlin. She came to Hollywood from her home in upstate New York to participate in the film version in 1931. Through her writings at the time and later on, Hamlin has given us an almost day-by-day account of the production, life at Warner Bros., and insights into many people there including John Barrymore, Noah Beery, Florence Arliss, and of course Mr. A himself. This post is requiring a lot of work and contains much information not in my book – so please keep an eye out for it. Lots of photos too, many never before published.
Hamilton and Washington – the original Dream Team

Check this space during June for an extended HAMILTON post to celebrate the 4th of July – Arliss Style!

Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 2:14 AM  Leave a Comment  
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