Man Who Played God

The Man Who Played God

Director: John G. Adolphi, George Arliss, Violet Heming, Ivan Simpson

Cast: John G. Adolphi, George Arliss, Violet Heming, Ivan Simpson

     
 
George Arliss is a world-renowned pianist, engaged to a young woman (Bette Davis) much younger than himself. An explosion renders Arliss completely deaf, but he soon becomes an expert lip-reader. To practice this skill, he looks out his window through binoculars, reading the lips of those who pass through the public park below. He learns that many people have problems

Overview

George Arliss is a world-renowned pianist, engaged to a young woman (Bette Davis) much younger than himself. An explosion renders Arliss completely deaf, but he soon becomes an expert lip-reader. To practice this skill, he looks out his window through binoculars, reading the lips of those who pass through the public park below. He learns that many people have problems far worse than his own, so he secretly arranges to solve the financial and emotional crises of those whose words he has read. Arliss' talent backfires on him when he spots his fiancee in the park with another man; she reveals that she does not love Arliss, but is staying with him out of loyalty. Though broken-hearted, Arliss expansively allows his fiancee to marry the man she truly loves, and even arranges for their future security. The Man Who Played God was based on a stage play also starring George Arliss, which he'd previously filmed in 1922. It was remade in 1955 as Sincerely Yours, starring the inimitable Liberace!

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Nowadays, The Man Who Played God is thought of as the film that made a "somebody" out of Bette Davis -- not a "star," but performer worth noticing -- and which ultimately lead to her starmaking role in Of Human Bondage. But in 1932, God was hailed for the actor in its title character, the Academy Award-winning George Arliss. Although not well known today, Arliss was quite respected at the time, and his performance in God is worth catching. It may be off-putting to some modern viewers, if for no other reason than his heavy, silent movie-styled make-up. Arliss also has a mannered style of acting that may not resonate with those used to more "realistic" styles. But those who tune in to Arliss will find themselves rewarded, as his work is mesmerizing, almost "engulfing." There is a total commitment, a total belief in the work that is enthralling. For her part, Davis does quite well. She's still in her formative stages, still finding what parts of herself to display and how to display them, but she's fascinating and quite effective. God's story is also hard to resist; yes, it's manipulative and its quasi-religious nature may be a bit unusual, but those who give in to it will be surprisingly moved.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/30/2014
UPC:
0888574085360
Original Release:
1932
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:20:00
Sales rank:
16,083

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Arliss Montgomery Royale
Violet Heming Mildred Miller
Ivan Simpson Battle
Louise Closser Hale Florence Royale
Bette Davis Grace Blair
Donald Cook Harold Van Adam
Paul Porcasi French Concert Manager
Frederic Howard Actor
Ray Milland Eddie
André Luguet The King
Oscar Apfel Lip Reader
Hedda Hopper Alice Chittendon
William Janney First boy
Murray Kinnell King's Aide
Grace Durkin First girl
Dorothy Libaire Jenny
Wade Boteler Detective
Alexander Ikonnikov Russian officer
Russell Hopton Reporter
Paul Panzer Russian Officer
Harry Stubbs Chittendon
Michael Visaroff Russian officer
Charles E. Evans Doctor

Technical Credits
John G. Adolphi Director
Leo F. Forbstein Score Composer
William Holmes Editor
Maude Howell Screenwriter
Julien Josephson Screenwriter
Earl Luick Costumes/Costume Designer
Gouveneur Morris Original Story
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
James Van Trees Cinematographer
Jack L. Warner Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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