Arliss Alert! A SUCCESSFUL CALAMITY (1932) with Mary Astor & Randolph Scott – Monday, May 3 @ 6:30 AM EST

Mr. A stars in this gossamer-light comedy of a wealthy man who feigns poverty so his family will stay home with him evenings. Mary Astor plays his wife(!) and much is made of the big difference in their ages. And is Mary playing around with her Italian music teacher?arl-succ-cal-6 copy_edited-1 copy

Mr. A has a daughter played by Evalyn Knapp:Arl Succ Cal copy_edited-4 copy

and a son played by William Janney:arl-succ-cal-9 copy_edited-1

Will the family rally around Mr. A? All I’ll tell you at this point is that Mary Astor leaves and takes her jewelry with her, leaving behind a note for Mr. A. How will Mr. A resolve this dilemma?Successful Cal Poster_edited-1

Now enjoy the original preview trailer and catch the feature on Monday morning, May 3, at 6:30 AM eastern time!

Published in: on April 30, 2016 at 1:55 PM  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday, George Arliss! – April 10, 1868

Birthday greeting to our favorite actor, author, playwright and filmmaker

– and broadcaster too!
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Mr. A with Edward Arnold at the January 17, 1938 live broadcast of DISRAELI that was heard around the world and on ships at sea via shortwave.

A Commemorative postmark for Mr. A’s 70th the Birthday in 1938:
Arl Bday Stamp

To celebrate, let’s watch what happens to Boris Karloff when he tries to take on Mr. A in this excerpt from THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD:

One word sums it up:
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Published in: on April 10, 2016 at 12:22 PM  Comments (1)  

Restored – THE DEVIL (1920) – Mr. A’s First Film!

I have been learning my way around new digital video programs and have been able to refresh and restore some films that needed help. At the top of the list is Mr. A’s very first film, THE DEVIL, which until it was posted two years ago had been almost entirely unseen since its original release in 1920-21. Grateful for this significant event, we were aware of some shortcomings: the film speed was too fast, the image was rather faded, the opening titles were out of order, the the climatic ending was chopped up and way too abrupt. At the time there was little I could do to remedy these challenges but I’m pleased to unveil a better looking and sounding (music) version. I’ve beefed up the ending a little but I think Mr. A might approve. Please let me know what you think.

The director and the star of THE DEVIL (respectively):
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A little bit of imaginative promotion by a theater owner:
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Original lobby cards with hero Edmund Lowe, who later became a major film star in the 1930s:
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and now the motion picture itself!

Published in: on February 19, 2016 at 11:31 PM  Leave a Comment  

Arliss Alert! – THE GREEN GODDESS (1930) – on TCM Thurs. Feb. 4 @8AM

THE GREEN GODDESS was Mr. A’s first talkie and was produced during the summer of 1929. At his suggestion, TGG was withheld from release until Mr. A’s second talkie, DISRAELI, had been released first, in October 1929. Mr. A felt that DISRAELI was the better of the two films, an opinion generally shared by most film reviewers of the day. That said, THE GREEN GODDESS is a highly enjoyable film and is quite topical to the 21st century with its story of eastern intrigue, jealousy, and terrorism. George Arliss was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award together with DISRAELI. It marks the only time in Academy history that an actor competed against himself in two separate films. The voting selected DISRAELI alone, meaning of course, that Mr. A won out against himself. But he also won over other nominees including Ronald Colman and Maurice Chevalier.

THE GREEN GODDESS is wonderful entertainment with Mr. A as the slinkiest of villains. His closing line alone is worth the price of admission!

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Published in: on January 31, 2016 at 11:44 PM  Comments (1)  

Happy 2016 and Best Wishes for the Year

2016 Arliss Calendar Final

Published in: on January 1, 2016 at 9:25 PM  Comments (1)  

Wishing You the Best of Seasons Greetings!

Arliss Christmas and friends Final

Published in: on December 24, 2015 at 2:27 PM  Leave a Comment  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016 from Mr. A

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Published in: on December 11, 2015 at 7:56 PM  Comments (1)  
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New George Arliss Book – Just Published!

The Arliss Archives is pleased to announce Volume 5 in our series:
A GEORGE ARLISS PHOTOPLAY READER
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Among the most fragile items in the Arliss Archives are the faded and crumbling pages of film souvenir booklets and weekly movie magazines from the 1930s. These 80+ year old pieces of memorabilia capture the excitement of their times and still echo their marketing strategies of why you really, even in the depths of the Great Depression, need to see this particular motion picture. By scanning and digitally restoring this material it is now preserved for future generations long after the original documents will have crumbled away. All images are reproduced in their original black and white, color tints, or full color. This fifth volume in The ARLISS ARCHIVES series is a worthy addition to the previous four.

A GEORGE ARLISS PHOTOPLAY READER is available through Amazon in two editions: paperback in a huge 8.5×11 inches, and as a Kindle ebook. For more information just click this link:
http://www.amazon.com/George-Arliss-Photoplay-Reader-Archives/dp/1514783533/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Published in: on September 9, 2015 at 6:04 PM  Leave a Comment  

Happy 4th of July 2015

George Arliss and Alan Mowbray – as Hamilton and Washington – are joined this year by Rin Tin Tin and Marion Davies:

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Maude T. Howell – Mr. A’s Shadow

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Women executives were rare at American film studios during the 1930s. One exception was Maude T. Howell who worked as a screen writer, associate director and associate producer at Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Pictures from 1929 to 1935. She then crossed the Atlantic to work at Gaumont-British Pictures in London through 1937. Maude’s assigned motion picture productions had one thing in common: they were all George Arliss films. A graduate of Stanford University (Class of 1911), Maude worked in high school and community dramatics in Los Angeles. She became an assistant stage manager for a Detroit stock company and later was hired in a similar position for the New York production of THE GREEN GODDESS in 1921, which starred Mr. A. When the stage manager suddenly became ill, Maude took his place and thereby became the first woman stage manager in New York theater history. Mr. A in his memoirs recalled her skill and efficiency in this very demanding job. Photographs of Ms. Howell are as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth so following are among the rarest images in the Arliss Archives.
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This backstage photo dates from March 1923 and is likely during the run of THE GREEN GODDESS.

When Mr. A went into making “talkies” he brought Maude Howell along to be his eyes and ears in the myriad details of film-making.
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Taking a break from filming OLD ENGLISH in 1930, Maude Howell joins Mr. A and theater legends Otis Skinner (standing behind Mr. A), and Wilton Lackaye, seated next to him. The man standing on the right is Winthrop Ames who produced Mr. A’s plays from 1920 through 1928. Standing on the left is film director Alfred E. Green.

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Maude Howell also contributed to the scripts of the Arliss films, often uncredited. So did Mr. A. Here they are on the set of ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1931) with director John Adolfi.

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The production crew of CARDINAL RICHELIEU (1935) with Maude Howell seated at extreme right. To her left is Maureen O’Sullivan while Mr. A looks on approvingly at the film’s director, Rowland V. Lee.

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The main credits of RICHELIEU prominently disclose who provided the script.

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On the set of the British film, HIS LORDSHIP (1937), a comedy of foreign intrigue where Mr. A plays twin brothers. Here he is costumed as the pompous one. Director Herbert Mason is on the left.

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Queen Mary attended the London premiere of DR. SYN (1937), which turned out to be Mr. A’s final film. However, he would consider offers to play Disraeli in SUEZ (1938) and to star in THE PIED PIPER (1942), among other proposals. Alan Whittaker is dressed identically to Mr. A because he is his stand-in.

Maude Howell evidently returned to America following the completion of DR. SYN. Presumably, she resumed her career in theater production. Little more seems to be known about her except that she died in 1964 in New Orleans at the age of 77. Please contact me if you have any info about this special lady.

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