A Pilgrimage to the George Arliss Grave

This year we are celebrating Mr. A’s birthday anniversary today (April 10, 1868) in a more significant way. Recently, Tim Beech, a fellow Arlissian (my term, not Tim’s) made a wonderful visit to Mr. A’s gravesite at Harrow Weald Cemetery outside of London. He was representing in a very real sense all of us who have longed to visit the site ourselves and I must say we were well represented. Rather than me blather on, here is Tim’s first-hand account of his pilgrimage.

A Visit to the George Arliss Grave by Tim Beech

I had cause recently to take my wife to London’s Heathrow Airport for a Transatlantic crossing. It’s a journey taken countless times by George and Florence Arliss, though of course by steamship rather than by Boeing.

It also occurred to me that, while Heathrow is more than 140 miles from our home in the Midlands, it’s a distance of only around 10 miles from Harrow Weald. It was there that George and Florence were buried in 1946 and 1950 respectively and, thanks to the sterling efforts of Bob Fells, their previously neglected grave had been restored a few years ago.

This seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

I had never visited the site and was a little anxious I might struggle to find the right spot. Harrow Weald is a very large cemetery next to All Saints Church, a mid-nineteenth century structure where Mr and Mrs A were married on September 16, 1899. As GA noted: “We were married in the prettiest church on the prettiest day that ever was seen.” They now lie only a few yards from where they exchanged vows almost 125 years ago.

Looking towards the Arliss grave located next to the hedge

To make sure I didn’t make the pilgrimage in vain I did an extraordinary amount of preparation. I viewed the approaching roads on Google Street View, worked out where I might park, examined the layout via Google Earth, looked at pictures of the gravesite (it is next to a hedge) and checked in with Bob Fells, who gave me further instructions supplied by GA’s great grandnephew. Armed with such a volume and quality of information I felt confident as I passed the church entrance on the left and then turned into the cemetery off the Uxbridge Road.

A bit closer – can you see it now?

I had dropped my wife at Heathrow before 6 but the cemetery was closed until 9am, so I spent the intervening time making the trip from the Airport (which takes around 45 minutes, despite the relatively short distance), having a quick breakfast at a café and exercising our dog Chase at a local park. Perhaps it was the time I’d spent waiting, or perhaps it was the amount of planning, but I felt a sudden unexpected sense of nervousness as I drove into the cemetery itself.

It wasn’t as if I were there to meet anyone. But it felt that way. Someone I had seen repeatedly on screen, read a great deal about and was now about to “encounter” in a sense. I also admit that I felt a responsibility to represent Bob Fells, who has done so much to preserve GA’s memory but has never had the chance to visit the gravesite. He had asked me to lay a rose on his behalf as well as take some pictures, and I had a few thoughts already in my mind.

There it is to the left of the cross

There is also something deeply personal about visiting the gravesite – the fact it is so little visited makes it more special, and it’s therefore a very different experience in a way that visiting the graves of many other famous people is not.

So there was certainly some nervousness, and a degree of anticipation.

As I drove the very short distance from the Uxbridge Road the cemetery opened out into a wider expanse, with the church mostly hidden to the left. I saw a semi-circular addition to the driveway, which is really only wide enough for a single car, so I turned 180 degrees and parked.

I knew the gravesite must be to my right and not far from the church, but I couldn’t drive any closer to it. The route to the site is via a path clearly intended for pedestrians only. But even from a distance I was confident that I could see the grave around 100 yards away at around “2 o’clock” to my right, and took a couple of initial pictures.

I made my way over towards the grave, which is very close to a hedge that forms the boundary for this part of the cemetery. It was around 25 feet or so off the path to the left and, although it was a beautiful sunny morning, it was October in England and the fairly thick grass was damp under my feet. It was also in shadow, because the hedge runs north-west to south-east, and shielded the site from the morning sun.

I had brought with me some towels and cleaning detergent in the expectation that the grave might need some sprucing up, but it was in very good condition – I later learned from Bob that it is, for the moment, still under a maintenance contract. There was a small scattering of fallen leaves over the grave itself, but it was otherwise clear. However, stepping past the gravestone my toe-end caught the edge of a plastic bottle which went skittering across the grass. It turned out to be a whisky bottle and was accompanied by a few plastic bags lying randomly in the morning dew. Although the cemetery is well maintained and not at all overgrown it seems likely that it may be an attractive and secluded spot for off-hours visitors.

I returned from the car with a large cardboard box I had brought for the purpose of elevating the camera to take pictures; my iPad on which I intended to display some appropriate images; two books (Bob’s biography of GA and GA’s first autobiography); a bucket of water containing some roses I had clipped from our garden at home the night before; a pair of secateurs to trim the stems; and some silver foil in which to wrap them. I also found an abandoned vase lying on its side next to the hedge which I used to display the roses when I left.

The view from the opposite direction taken from behind the Arliss headstone (lower right)

The site is sufficiently far from the Uxbridge Road for most of the sound of the traffic to be muffled. There is a real sense of peace in the location – I could mostly only hear the sound of birds signing and a slight rustle in the hedge from an occasional breeze. There were no other people in sight in this corner of the cemetery, although a workman later arrived and started trimming the grass at the farthest distance opposite. Even though he was perhaps 400 yards or more away, the sound of his machine cut through the air because there was little else with which it had to compete.

I took around five dozen photographs and videos from every angle I could think of, although it was a little difficult at times because of the sunlight. I captured images with the books; with the photograph Bob had digitally made alongside GA; with the roses; and I also played an extract from the House of Rothschild. It’s the sequence where GA, playing Nathan Rothschild, is excluded from a Government bond issue on the grounds that he is Jewish, but then executes a plan to run the market down by selling bonds that force the financiers to pass the entire issue over to him.

It was quite emotional to watch the sequence, hear the voices of Mr and Mrs Arliss, and at that time be at the very spot where they now lie. It was a moment when I felt particularly connected with them, even though both had passed away almost two decades before I was born.

I trimmed the rose stems, wrapped them in silver foil and left them in the vase below the gravestone. I checked I had the photos stored and then took a few more for good measure as I returned to my car. The last view I had as I passed the hedge to my right was the gravestone, standing bright and tall despite the shade, and feeling I’d done everything I came to do.

Even the weather had been perfect. It was a pilgrimage completed.


Thanks very much Tim for the time and effort you put into your visit. I have read of instances where biographers at times sense a personal presence of the individual they are chronicling. I once asked a well-known biographer privately if she ever had such an incident. We were at a ‘meet and greet’ and she told me she was glad I didn’t ask this during the Q&A session. She said she indeed had such experiences but didn’t want to admit that publicly. So perhaps this photo I constructed below may not be all that far-fetched.

I don’t know how I can sufficiently thank Tim Beech for making this visit but perhaps in a small (and corny) way I thought I’d use my dubious photoshop skills to create this little token of my appreciation:

Published in: on April 10, 2023 at 10:06 AM  Comments (1)  
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Arliss Alert! April TCM (US) Screenings: DISRAELI (1929) April 1 at 8:30AM EDT and ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1931) April 7 at 4:15 PM EDT

Check your listings to watch these two George Arliss Classics during the first week of April.

On April 1st is GA’s Best Actor Academy Award winning film, DISRAELI . An early talkie filmed during the stifling summer of 1929, and based on GA’s amazing 5-year theater run of the play, DISRAELI is told through a delightful series of intimate conversations that lead to a spellbinding climax.

The plot involves the British prime minister’s efforts to purchase the Suez Canal from Egypt before Russia can get its hands on it. This sounds, well, esoteric, doesn’t it? But therein lies the power of this film (and why the play ran for five years, plus two revivals, a 1921 silent film version, and also a 1938 radio adaptation that was heard live around the world).

Tune in on April 1st to discover what all the excitement was about.

Next on Friday, April 7 at 4:15 PM EDT is the “first version” of the recent hit Broadway musical, HAMILTON. GA co-wrote the play – no musical numbers in this version – that tells the story of the first Secretary of the Treasury’s extramarital affair. When this film was made in the Spring of 1931 it was decided to rename it ALEXANDER HAMILTION, perhaps to avoid confusion with the British Lord Hamilton and his extramarital affair. Is this movie dry stuff? We think not. Check it out yourself.

George Arliss – One for the Teenagers by Clive Beautyman

George Arliss – One for the Teenagers

In his one-man show at the Royal Festival Hall in 1966 Tony Hancock performs a stand-up routine which has changed little since the 1950s. In one section he does some impressions: Robert Newton as Long John Silver (from the 1950 film), Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). “Now then – here’s a cracker – one for the teenagers – George Arliss” says Hancock. He purses his lips and forms a monocle with thumb and forefinger. The audience laugh but Hancock looks puzzled, “What do you mean never heard of him ? He’s only been dead forty years !”

Asked to name British actors who had won an Oscar George Arliss (1868-1946) would feature in few replies and yet he was the very first British Oscar winner as well as the earliest-born actor ever to win the award. Already a star of the Broadway stage in the 1910s he became one of the few actors to successfully transition from silent films in the 1920s to talkies in the 1930s. This year marks the centenary of his first film “The Devil” (1921). As a Hollywood producer at Warner Brothers he is credited with discovering and promoting such talent as Bette Davis, James Cagney, Randolph Scott and Dick Powell. He deserves to be remembered.

Augustus George Andrews was born in London the third son of a printer and publisher. Fascinated by stories of the theatrical life by 18 he was playing small parts in melodramas at the Elephant and Castle Theatre. After a decade of provincial touring he returned to London and joined Mrs Patrick Campbell’s company. She took the troupe to America in 1901 and Arliss was an immediate hit on Broadway playing opposite her in Pinero’s “The Second Mrs. Tanqueray”. Despite planning only a six month stay in America he was largely based there for the rest of his working life whilst also maintaining homes in England.

At the height of his Broadway fame in 1911 Louis Parker wrote a play on the life of Disraeli specifically for him. It proved a gold mine – he played it for five years on stage, made a silent film of it in 1921 and a sound film in 1929. It was this latter film which brought him his Best Actor Oscar. Playing opposite him was his wife Florence who he had married in 1899.

In 1912 Arliss spent six months in Boston with “Disraeli” where he was befriended by the local socialite and arts patron Isabella Stewart Gardner (then 72). In his autobiography he later gave his light-hearted views in praise of Bostonian older women: “When you are there should you be seeking companionship – female companionship – don’t go to the dance halls amongst the flappers, but pick out some lady, – almost any lady, over seventy, and if she takes to you, you will have the time of your life. But don’t be put off by some immature substitute in the fifties or sixties; be sure that she has reached the allotted span of life. At seventy the Boston lady says to herself, ‘I have done my duty as a wife and mother … now I am going to have a good time.’ But before you attach yourself to the lady, you must be sure that you are in good physical condition; you will need all your strength”.

In 1917 he appeared as the American founding father Alexander Hamilton in the self-penned play “Hamilton”, a somewhat different piece to the recent hit musical of the same name, with the aim of conveying that the founding fathers were, “real people, and not merely a procession of nice grey-headed old gentlemen”. The Hamilton tour closed prematurely in Boston in 1918 due to the unrest of World War I and venue closures caused by the Spanish flu pandemic.

Ever keen to recycle good material Arliss filmed “Hamilton” in 1931 as an early sound film. His experience as a stage actor meant that, in his 60s, Arliss was perfectly placed to exploit this new medium of “talking pictures”. A contract from Warner Brothers gave him a large amount of artistic control and led to string of successes, often remakes of his previous stage or silent film hits such as “The Green Goddess” and “The Man Who Played God”. The latter gave Bette Davis her first leading role.

The production team Arliss assembled made ten films before Warners’ production chief Darryl F. Zanuck resigned and Arliss followed him to his new 20th Century Pictures company. The hits continued and in 1934 he was voted British film-goers favourite male star and gushing newspaper adverts at the time referred to him (pace Tony Hancock) as “The inimitable George Arliss” who “holds his audiences spellbound for reel after reel”.

As an actor his distinguished patrician style made him perfect for portraying powerful historical figures. “An actor from whose Atheneum manner I sometimes derive a rather humble pleasure” Graham Greene noted. Among his greatest successes in addition to Disraeli were Wellington, Rothschild, and Richelieu. Surprisingly he only once played in Shakespeare, as Shylock. After retirement he said the only character he regretted never having been able to play on screen was the Vicar of Wakefield.

Having previously said he would only retire “when they cut my salary. A sure indication that an actor’s sun is setting.” In 1937 he retired from the screen because his wife “my beloved Flo” was going blind. “She needs a companion, and I have applied for the post” he explained.

They again revived “Disraeli”, this time as a radio production for Cecil B. DeMille. They returned to their London house in Maida Hill in 1939 and despite a film offer from Darryl F. Zanuck they saw out the war in England and never returned to America. Their London property survived the Blitz but a holiday home they owned in St. Margaret’s Bay in Kent was destroyed in 1942 by a shell from the German battleship Gneisenau when she was dashing up the English Channel with the Scharnhorst. A favourite location, Arliss had spent many summers there between theatrical seasons and had seen Blériot land on the nearby cliffs in 1909 and Zeppelins attacked by British fighter planes during World War I.

Modest and self-effacing, Arliss (“Uncle Gus” to his relatives) had survived the excesses and monstrous egos of early Hollywood unscathed. Unhurried and leisure loving – though walking four miles each day – he was as dignified and poised as many of the characters he played. He was a campaigning anti-vivisectionist and a strict vegan saying “I eat nothing I can pat.”

This Grand Old Man of the screen died of pneumonia at home in 1946 at the age of 77 having been seen out for the last time two weeks before walking near Marble Arch “monocled, gloved and spatted, looking frail and tired, but still the picture of a perfect gentleman”. As a measure of his success he left an estate valued at around £6 million in today’s money. A substantial portion of that went eventually, via his wife Florence who died four years later, to the Council of Justice to Animals and the RSPCA. George Arliss has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and a gravestone in All Saints’ Churchyard, Harrow Weald.

Reprinted by the courtesy of Best of Britain magazine, May 2021.

Published in: on September 26, 2022 at 9:43 PM  Comments (1)  
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A Novelization of THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD printed in October 1934 in the Isling Holloway Press

Back in the day many new film releases had tie-in novels to publicize the movie. But book sales suffered during the Great Depression, so instead the studios used film fan magazines and newspapers to build interest in the plot. This weekly British newspaper, The Isling-Holloway Press, had been published since 1872 and was keeping up with the times by printing this concise story of THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD with dialogue taken directly from the script. The story appeared in two parts in the October 13 and 20, 1934 editions, respectively. One photo from the film accompanied the first part (see below) and I have added a few more to give a sense of the action.

Frame grab from the ROTHSCHILD Technicolor finale

Happy Birthday, Mr. A – April 10, 2022, marks his 154th Birthday!

Actor, author, playwright, and filmmaker George Arliss was born in the Bloomsbury section of London on Good Friday, April 10, 1868. He made his professional stage debut in 1887, a time when theaters were lit by gaslight. Crossing the Atlantic in 1901 as a member of the Mrs. Patrick Campbell Company, George and his wife Florence eventually established themselves in the U.S. theater world. What was planned as six months stay turned into 20 years. Turning 60 in 1928, retirement seemed to be calling Mr. A, but so were talking pictures. Thus, he suddenly embarked on ten years in the studios (a phrase he used for the title of his second volume of memoirs) winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in the process. Today, at least seven of his films can be viewed on DVD and streaming video.

Published in: on April 9, 2022 at 8:10 PM  Comments (3)  
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On the Set with George Arliss

Photos on movie sets give us some impression of what it was like to actually be there. Many of these stills were posed of course, but some were taken in the midst of discussions or show cast members merely sitting by waiting to be called to the set. Throughout the history of filmmaking, actors’ most vivid memories of the process are the long waits to be called to enact a few minutes of a scene. Some spent the time answering fan mail, reading a book, or even knitting. Will Rogers would write his newspaper column between shots.

Here are a variety of images showing Mr. A and his colleagues “on the set” that span the years 1919 to 1943. His second volume of memoirs was called MY TEN YEARS IN THE STUDIOS (US title) but his presence on film sets spanned from 1916 to at least 1943. Most importantly, he enjoyed making films and sought to understand every aspect of them. He viewed them all and made uncredited contributions to the scripts. He had a producer’s understanding of budgets and deadlines, never losing sight of the fact that movies cost a lot of money to make and must make a profit.

Circa 1919-1920, George and Florence visit the legendary director D.W. Griffith on the set of one of his films:

Given the assumed date, this location may have been the Griffith studio at Mamaroneck, NY, just north of New York City in Westchester County. (Please pardon the fuzzy quality)

In the summer of 1923, Mr. A filmed his current hit play, THE GREEN GODDESS, as a silent film. He was preparing to take it to London where it would run at the West End’s St. James Theater for a solid year. As these two production stills suggest, the filming of the mythical Himalayan kingdom of Rukh took place in the middle of a residential neighborhood:

Sidney Olcott directs Alice Joyce and David Powell as Mr. A’s Rajah watches them in a final scene. The nearby house was no doubt kept out of camera range.

Another shot from the beginning of the story where the British flyers have the good luck to survive a crash landing but have the bad luck to land in the Rajah’s small kingdom of Rukh:

That’s perennial Arliss cast member Ivan Simpson in the derby playing the Rajah’s valet, Watkins. Alice Joyce and Harry T. Morey play an unhappily married couple whose lives are about to get much worse with their arrival.

Outdoors on the set of ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1931). Mr. A in costume seems to be amusing assistant Maude T. Howell and director John Adolfi:

This film was based on a 1917 play that Mr. A co-wrote with Mary Hamlin. He arranged to have her hired for the film and she later wrote a detailed and often humorous account of the mass confusion that was called “filmmaking.”

No matter what, Mr. A always paused for a 4 PM tea break during filming. Hollywood publicists used it to promote the films, but British producer Michael Balcon later found it annoying:

Doris Kenyon was a silent film star who made a smooth transition to talkies and who appeared with Mr. A in both silent and sound films. She played his daughter in THE RULING PASSION (1922) and his wife in HAMILTON. She also played Madame de Pompadour in his VOLTAIRE (1933):

Not a movie set, Mr. A visits Doris Kenyon backstage during one of her operatic recitals circa 1932.

Mr. A made his first British feature in 1934 titled THE IRON DUKE. The screenplay adroitly cobbled together various episodes in the Duke of Wellington’s life and made a coherent story out of the pastiche:

Mr. A in makeup and costume for THE IRON DUKE (1934) and the film’s director Victor Saville to his left join director Eugene Forde (on the right) and the cast of FOREVER ENGLAND for a lunch break.

Mr. A spent January-February 1935 filming CARDINAL RICHELIEU in Hollywood. It turned out to be his last American film although he would decline a number of offers right through World War II:

Director Rowland V. Lee and Maude T. Howell listen as Mr. A seems to be discussing the ring he is wearing. Maude Howell was literally the first woman stage manager in American theater history. Arliss was so impressed with her during the run of THE GREEN GODDESS that he later hired her to work on all of his films in several capacities as a screenwriter, associate producer and associate director. In fact, she was one of the few woman film executives anywhere at that time.

Maureen O’Sullivan and Mr. A in a touching scene from CARDINAL RICHELIEU. Watching the film itself, they seem to be in an ornate palace room, but this production shot shows a very sparse suggestion of a palace designed entirely for the little the camera would catch:

Maureen O’Sullivan was borrowed from MGM for this Twentieth Century (later -Fox) film. She must have enjoyed the break from the Tarzan films. Decades later she would appear in Woody Allen movies. From Arliss to Allen, now that’s a long career!

It can get cold in Hollywood in January as this still from some location work on CARDINAL RICHELIEU suggests:

Maude Howell is bundled up awaiting the crew to finish setting up the equipment. To her right is Mr. A and Douglas Dumbrille as Baradas, the villain. Edward Arnold has his back to the camera as Louis XIII.

A group pose of the principals and crew for a scene that presumably involved only Mr. A and Maureen O’Sullivan:

Seated from bottom right to left: Maude T. Howell, Maureen O’Sullivan, Mr. A, and director Rowland V. Lee. The young lady standing just above Lee seems to be auditioning for something!

After RICHELIEU, Mr. A could walk to the studio from his London home for the next two years because he worked for Gaumont-British at Sheperd’s Bush. His memoirs tactfully suggest that he missed the amenities of California and unfortunately his working relationship with Michael Balcon was not as cordial as it was with Darryl Zanuck. But the G-B films were enjoyable, did well at the box-office, and the studio kept offering him new contracts:

Mr. A seems to be rehearsing his lines with Maude Howell on the set of EAST MEETS WEST (1936)

Another production still from EAST MEETS WEST makes Mr. A seem almost lost among the massive equipment:

Director Herbert Mason on the left and Godfrey Tearle on the right. Maude Howell keeps an eye on things in the foreground.

Later in 1936, Mr. A filmed the comedy-mystery HIS LORDSHIP where he plays twin brothers. One is a stuffy old member of the diplomatic corps and the other one is quite urbane. Towards the end of filming, Mr. A came down with the flu. Production halted until he felt better and could return to complete filming. The incident apparently made studio heads aware that their star was approaching 70 in those days before antibiotics:

Director Herbert Mason, Mr. A, and Maude Howell. Here he is playing the fussbudget brother or perhaps, depending on where they are in the plot, he is playing the Americanized brother who is taking his brother’s place to stop an international calamity from taking place. HIS LORDSHIP (US title A MAN OF AFFAIRS) is a good film that deserves a proper restoration to be appreciated.

Gaumont-British went out of business at the end of 1936 and Mr. A’s one remaining film under the contract was transferred to Gainsborough Pictures where Edward Black was in charge of production. It turned out to be a harmonious development and the film, DR. SYN (1937), is arguably the best of the British Five in Mr. A’s filmography.

The multi-talented Allan Whittaker served as Mr. A’s stand-in for DR. SYN while Maude Howell completed her oversight position on the Arliss films. She apparently returned to the theater although I have never found any information about her post-Arliss years. She lived until 1964 in New Orleans and is buried in California.

George and Flo chose to remain in London during the Second World War. They built their own bomb shelter and occasionally stayed out of town when the bombing raids grew intense. His letters from the war years relate how the windows of his house rattled as the bombs fell. Their cottage at St. Margaret’s Bay near Dover was destroyed by a direct hit from a German shell in September 1942. Fortunately, the cottage was not occupied at the time.

Despite the war, Mr. A found time to visit London film studios that were still very much in operation. Here he visits his cousin, director Leslie Arliss (not his son as is often claimed), in 1943 on the set of THE MAN IN GREY with Phyllis Calvert:

Mr. A with his cousin director Leslie Arliss and Phyllis Calvert in 1943 on the set of THE MAN IN GREY.

I hope you enjoyed our little tour with George Arliss on the set.

My homemade coffee cup

Published in: on February 27, 2022 at 2:45 PM  Comments (2)  
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Mr. A Sails the High Seas

Back before the age of jet liners linked America and Europe in a matter of hours, transatlantic travel meant spending several days at sea and, hopefully, in good weather. Mere acquaintances on land would form onboard friendships during the voyage, though most of these tended to fizzle out once they were back on terra firma.

Mr. A was no exception to this social ritual as many candid photographs attest. Here’s a collection of moments from long ago voyages during the 1920s and 30s when Mr. and Mrs. A shuttled between Southampton, England, and New York City, then cross-country by train to Los Angeles.

Here the caption informs us that Florence and George have arrived in New York onboard the S.S. Mauretania in September 1922 after a visit home to England :

George Arliss is considered a “notable” onboard the S.S. Berengaria as he returns to New York after a two month vacation in Europe on November 22, 1924:

The Arlisses leave New York on the S.S.Leviathan on May 21,1927. The ship had been converted from a luxury liner to a troop ship during World War I and was then transformed back to a liner. The “slug” or photo caption adds some details:

The slug states that Mr. and Mrs. A are leaving New York on the S.S. Majestic on May 29, 1931, for a combined vacation and search for new film material. Color by Moi:

Mr. A chats with a fellow passenger in this undated photo, circa mid-1930s:

Another undated photo but Mr. A’s stiff collar suggests the late 20s or early 30s. By the mid-1930s, Florence’s eyesight had worsened and she rarely appeared on deck:

Mr. A seems happy to share the attentions of the paparazzi with a fellow thespian, Edith Evans, or so I believe. The back of this news photo indicates that it was taken onboard the R.M.S. Majestic in Southampton in 1934:

Having just completed CARDINAL RICHELIEU (1935) in Hollywood, Mr. A has his stateroom invaded as he and Flo leave from New York aboard the S.S. Olympic, sister ship of Titanic, on what I believe is the ship’s final voyage before it was retired:

After an absence of two years while making films in Britain, Mr. A returns to New York on November 9, 1937 via the S.S. Aquitania. He seems to be waiting to go through customs:

Another photo of Mr. A still waiting to go through customs on Nov. 9, 1937. He seems to be saying to the photographer,”Haven’t you taken enough?”

A familiar shipboard pose on the ship S.S. Aquitania as it arrives in Southampton from New York on April 26, 1938:

Finally, a view from the other side of the cameras aboard the S.S. Aquitania on Mr. A’s return to America on Nov.9, 1937:


Arliss ALERT! Double Feature: THE GREEN GODDESS and DISRAELI – Tuesday, February 18 at 6 AM EST

TCM aka Turner Classic Movies – is showing Mr. A’s first two talkies this Tuesday, February 18th, starting at 6 AM eastern time (THE GREEN GODDESS) and then at 7:15 AM his Academy Award winning performance in DISRAELI (1929).
Not to be missed!

Published in: on February 16, 2020 at 5:14 PM  Comments (4)  
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The Official 2020 George Arliss Calendar

Here it is – our official 2020 George Arliss Calendar. This year we offer Mr. A with a distinctly “cowboy” look. The colorization is, as usual, by myself. Get your calendar today, and that’s easy. Just print it out. Looks great in 8×10!

A Video Tour of the Original Souvenir Program from DISRAELI (1929) with original color lobby cards

Souvenir programs from vintage films are highly collectible and one in mint condition can be quite expensive to acquire. Let’s take a video tour of this 1929 DISRAELI program from my collection. I’ve interspersed the set of color lobby cards released by the studio to enhance the tour.

Here we have a complete copy of another Arliss-DISRAELI souvenir program. But this one is from the stage version and dates from 1912!

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