6.9/10
507
18 user 10 critic

The Great Garrick (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 30 October 1937 (USA)
A Paris troupe puts on outlandish performances for a celebrated eighteenth-century British actor in order to convince him of their talents; the arrival of a countess complicates the plot.

Director:

James Whale

Writer:

Ernest Vajda (a play for the screen)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lady leaves her brutal husband and meets another man aboard a ship.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Diana Wynyard, Colin Clive, Frank Lawton
The Road Back (1937)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After World War I, a group of former German soldiers try to adjust to civilian life.

Director: James Whale
Stars: John 'Dusty' King, Richard Cromwell, Slim Summerville
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a night of wild partying at a friend's house, a couple wake up to discover the party's host has been murdered in his bed. A detective is called in to investigate, but his ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Edward Arnold, Robert Young, Constance Cummings
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A seaplane departs for China. On board are a nurse escaping a loveless marriage to do work with refugees, a woman hoping to surprise her estranged son, a wealthy heiress trying to distance ... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Madge Evans, John Boles, Bruce Cabot
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A prosecutor trying a case where a husband shot his adulterous wife begins to suspect that his own wife is having an affair, and starts to have his own thoughts about killing her.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Warren William, Gail Patrick, Ralph Morgan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Madelon and Marius intend to marry but he finds the call of the ocean irresistible and leaves her and his father behind.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Wallace Beery, Frank Morgan, Maureen O'Sullivan
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An Austrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. While in London, he meets a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney--who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Nancy Carroll, Frank Morgan, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Aherne ... David Garrick
Olivia de Havilland ... Germaine
Edward Everett Horton ... Tubby
Melville Cooper ... M. Picard
Lionel Atwill ... Beaumarchais
Luis Alberni ... Basset
Lana Turner ... Auber
Marie Wilson ... Nicolle
Linda Perry ... Molee
Fritz Leiber ... Horatio
Etienne Girardot ... Jean Cabot
Dorothy Tree ... Mme. Moreau
Craig Reynolds ... M. Janin
Paul Everton ... Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
Trevor Bardette ... M. Noverre
Edit

Storyline

The Great Garrick (Brian Aherne) is the most celebrated London theater actor of his day (eighteenth century) and is invited to Paris to star at the Comedie Francaise, the most important theatre in France. Before his departure for Paris he is mistakenly quoted as saying that he is 'going to France to teach the French how to act'. The Comedie Francaise actors and director hear about this and take this as a serious insult and thus plot to embarrass The Great Garrick when he gets to France with a great big prank. The Comedie Francaise troupe takes over an inn on Garrick's road to Paris where he spends the night. What the Comedie Francaise actors don't know is that The Great Garrick is in on the joke and just plays along. A wrench is thrown into the plot when lone, lovely countess shows up looking for a room at the inn. Garrick treats her as though she is one of the troupe but she falls in love with him. Edward Everett Horton plays The Great Garrick's valet. Written by Lisa Rome

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladies and Gentlemen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)| Black and White (Turner library print)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Ladies and Gentlemen", a story by Ernst Vajda, was purchased by Warner Bros. For $15,000. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie the road sign gives the distance to Paris in kilometers. The movie takes place in the 1750's; the metric system was introduced in 1799 after the French Revolution. See more »

Quotes

Tubby: Now Mr. Garrick, you must not become entangled with any of these French hussies.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than saying "Screenplay by Ernest Vajda", the credits read "A Play for the Screen by Ernest Vajda". See more »

Connections

Version of David Garrick (1908) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
In the score when the Paris title is shown
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Underrated gem; perhaps the most overlooked classic of 1937
10 April 2003 | by KalamanSee all my reviews

James Whale's "The Great Garrick" is perhaps the most overlooked classic of 1937, a year that also saw such classics as "Stage Door", "The Awful Truth", "Make Way for Tomorrow", "History is Made at Night", "Angel" and some others.

"Great Garrick" is a brazen but abundantly enthralling costume comedy on David Garrick, a Shakespearen ham actor and the most famous English actor of the 18th century. Garrick played a significant role in the development of English stage in this period which saw the rise of Shakespeare and other playwrights. Garrick had a reputation of enthralling his audiences on and off stage. Here in "Great Garrick", he is ingeniously played by Brian Aherne, a sadly underrated actor giving one of his most memorable performances. Aherne's co-stars include Olivia de Havilland as Garrick's love interest Germaine, Edward Everett Horton as Garrick's sidekick Tubby, Melville Cooper, Lionel Atwill, Lana Turner, and Luis Alberni.

Beautifully shot in stark black-and-white photography by Ernest Haller, "Great Garrick" is a nonstop laugh riot. The opening titles tell us, "David Garrick the actor was at the height of his fame. He was the idol of London and the tale we are now unfold is a romantic adventure that might have happened during the vividly gay career of the colourful Garrick". Garrick is just finishing playing "Hamlet" and makes a farewell curtain speech to the audience at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He has been invited to Paris by the Comédie Francaise, a famous French theatre which rivalled in fame London's Theatre Royal. To convince the audience he is not actually ditching them, he reads a blank letter telling them that he is going there to teach the French. In Paris, the actors of the Comédie Francaise hold an emergency meeting to discuss what they consider to be an insult. "Ridicule kills" says one of the actors. Thus, they perpetrate a series of hoaxes at an Adam and Eve inn near Paris where Garrick and his Tubby will be staying there before they arrive in Paris.

Some of the hoaxes are outrageously hammy and over-the-top, especially Luis Alberni's annoying Basset, but that doesn't really hurt the picture at all. There are genuine glories in "Great Garrick" and most important of all are Whale's inventive, stylized direction, Ernest Vajda's endlessly witty screenplay, and Aherne's quietly graceful incarnation of Garrick.

The film works as a companion piece to Whale's underrated 1936 musical "Show Boat" in that both films are entrancing and exuberant celebrations of the theatre. "Show Boat" concerns a group of traveling actors who are putting on a show; "Garrick" is bio-pic of a famous actor. Both films display the talent and versatility of a great director.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed