George Arliss Collection: Old English/A Successful Calamity/The King's Vacation [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Synopsis

The King's Vacation
One of George Arliss' "smaller" vehicles, The King's Vacation casts the eminent British stage star (always billed as "Mr. George Arliss") as an abdicating monarch. Seeking the simple life, he comes to America in search of the wife (Marjorie Gateson) he'd been forced to divorce years earlier in order keep his crown. Upon locating her, Arliss discovers that his ex-wife has remarried into wealth, and is now better off than he's ever been. His disillusionment complete, Arliss returns to his queen (Florence Arliss), who has likewise renounced her throne for an austere existence. Only George Arliss could get away with telling us that "poor is better" in a picture made in the middle of the Depression! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Successful Calamity
Veteran stage and screen star George Arliss forsakes his biographical roles for domestic comedy in A Successful Calamity. Arliss plays an elderly millionaire saddled with a selfish young second wife (Mary Astor) and a pair of spoiled grown children (William Janney and Evelyn Knapp). To test his family's mettle, Arliss pretends to have gone broke. Just as he suspected they would, his children rally to their father's side and change their ways: The daughter forsakes a fortune hunter (Hardie Albright) for the nice young man she's really in love with (Randolph Scott), while the son applies for a demanding job and performs admirably. Only Arliss' young wife seems to desert him--but even she turns out to be true blue, hocking her jewels to save Arliss from ruin. A Successful Calamity was based on a play by Claire Kummer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Old English
British actor George Arliss spent the bulk of his movie career in adaptations of his stage successes. Based on a play by John Galsworthy, Old English stars Arliss as an aging shipbuilder, who dotes on the children of his deceased son. Arliss' sister (Ethyl Gryffies) disapproves because the old man's son was illegitimate, but Arliss pays her no heed. He secures the financial future of his grandchildren by entering into a shady business deal that is sure to bring him disgrace and ruin. To escape the wrath of his enemies, Arliss commits an elegant suicide by defying his doctor's orders and eating a sumptuous gourmet mea -- a wistful finale later reworked into the 1935 biopic Diamond Jim. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • George Arliss
    George Arliss - Phillip
  • Image coming soon
    Florence Arliss - Margaret
  • Marjorie Gateson
    Marjorie Gateson - Helen
  • Dudley Digges
    Dudley Digges - Lord Chamberlain
  • Dick Powell
    Dick Powell - John Kent

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