Phillips Smalley - Rotten Tomatoes

Phillips Smalley



Shortly after the Civil War, the wealthy parents of American actor Phillips Smalley made the first of several sojourns to Europe. The young Smalley went along on most of these trips in the 1880s, meeting such prominent personages as Disraeli, Gladstone, Robert Browning, James McNeill Whistler, and Oscar Wilde. Entranced by the reminiscences of major theatrical talents like Ellen Terry and Sir Henry Irving, Smalley vowed to tread the boards himself after graduating from Oxford University. Having appeared as Hamlet in an amateur production, Smalley continued pursuing acting during his postgrad years at Harvard back in the states. Establishing himself as a leading man (he had the strong jaw and deep-set eyes necessary for such a profession), Smalley decided that the stage was too confining for his ambitions and entered films at the Gaumont Studios in New Jersey, which in the early 1900s was experimenting with talking pictures. When talkies proved impractical for the moment, Smalley nonetheless stayed in films at Universal studios as an actor/director, ever on the outlook for cinematic innovations. Fascinated with camera tricks, Smalley introduced the triptych -- three separate scenes processed on the same frame -- in the 1912 one-reeler Suspense. Smalley's wife Lois Weber was an equally inventive director, and in fact she remained behind the cameras long after her husband had abandoned directing to return as a full-fledged actor. While he made quite an impression as a movie star in the years just before World War I, by 1919 Smalley's career began its decline. He was divorced from Weber by the mid '20s and relegated to character roles, notably as Sir Francis Chesney in Sydney Chaplin's Charley's Aunt (1925) -- a role he repeated in Charlie Ruggles' 1930 talkie version of the Brandon Thomas stage farce. By the mid '30s his career was essentially over, and he survived by picking up bit and extra work.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Suspense
  • Director
2013
No Score Yet The Dumb Girl Of Portici
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet I Am the Law
  • University Dean
1938
No Score Yet Second Honeymoon
  • Banker
1937
No Score Yet Hotel Haywire
  • Judge
1937
100% Make Way for Tomorrow
  • Businessman
1937
80% Love on the Run
  • Bit
1936
97% A Night at the Opera
  • Committee
1935
No Score Yet Night Life of the Gods
  • Alfred Lambert
1935
No Score Yet Chained
  • SS Official
1934
No Score Yet Bolero
  • Leona's angel
1934
No Score Yet Midnight Warning
  • Dr. Brown
1932
No Score Yet The Thirteenth Guest
  • Uncle Dick Thornton
1932
No Score Yet Hell's Headquarters
  • Mr. Cameron
1932
No Score Yet Sinister Hands
  • Richard Lang
1932
No Score Yet Murder at Dawn
  • Judge Folger
1932
No Score Yet The Greeks Had a Word for Them (Three Broadway Girls)
  • Justin Emery
1932
No Score Yet Three Broadway Girls
  • Justin Emery
1932
No Score Yet Charley's Aunt
  • Sir Francis Chesney
1930
No Score Yet High Voltage
  • Banker Henderson
1929
98% Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Head Waiter
1927
No Score Yet Charley's Aunt
  • Sir Francis Chesney
1925
No Score Yet Cameo Kirby
  • Judge Playdell
1923
No Score Yet Too Wise Wives
  • John Daly
1921
No Score Yet The Blot
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1921
No Score Yet Where Are My Children?
  • Producer
  • Director
1916
No Score Yet Out of the Grave
  • Director
1913

Quotes from Phillips Smalley's Characters

No quotes approved yet.