Raymond Massey - Rotten Tomatoes

Raymond Massey

Highest Rated:   100% How the West Was Won (1963)
Lowest Rated:   2% Kickin' It Old Skool (2007)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
As one of several sons of the owner of Toronto's Massey/Harris Agricultural Implement Company, Raymond Massey was expected to distinguish himself in business or politics or both (indeed, one of Raymond's brothers, Vincent Massey, later became Governor General of Canada). But after graduating form Oxford University, Massey defied his family's wishes and became an actor. He made his first stage appearance in a British production of Eugene O'Neill's In the Zone in 1922. By 1930, Massey was firmly established as one of the finest classical actors on the British stage; that same year he came to Broadway to play the title role in Hamlet. In 1931, Massey starred in his first talking picture, The Speckled Band, portraying Sherlock Holmes. One year later, he was co-starred with Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Stuart and Ernst Thesiger in his first Hollywood film, the classic The Old Dark House (1932). Returning to England, Massey continued dividing his time between stage and screen, offering excellent performances in such major motion-picture efforts as The Scarlet Pimpernal (1935) and Things to Come (1936). In 1938, he was cast in his most famous role: Abraham Lincoln, in Robert E. Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway production Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Massey repeated his Lincoln characterization in the 1940 film version of the Sherwood play, and 22 years later played a cameo as Honest Abe in How the West Was Won (1962). Refusing to allow himself to be pigeonholed as Lincoln, Massey played the controversial abolitionist John Brown in both Santa Fe Trail (1940) and Seven Angry Men (1955), and gave an effectively straight-faced comic performance as mass murderer Jonathan Brewster (a role originally written for Boris Karloff) in Frank Capra's riotous 1941 filmization of Arsenic And Old Lace. Though he would portray a wisecracking AWOL Canadian soldier in 1941's 49th Parallel and a steely-eyed Nazi officer in 1943's Desperate Journey, Massey served valiantly in the Canadian Army in both World Wars. On television, Massey played "Anton the Spymaster", the host of the 1955 syndicated anthology I Spy; and, more memorably, portrayed Dr. Gillespie in the 1960s weekly Dr. Kildare. An inveterate raconteur, Massey wrote two witty autobiographies, When I Was Young and A Thousand Lives (neither of which hinted at his legendary on-set contentiousness). Married three times, Raymond Massey was the father of actors Daniel and Anne Massey.

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Seeds of Destruction (The Terror Beneath)
  • Producer
2011
2% Kickin' It Old Skool
  • Producer
$4.5M 2007
29% Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity
  • Producer
2004
53% The Burial Society
  • Producer
2003
No Score Yet Black Point
  • Producer
2002
No Score Yet The President's Plane Is Missing
  • Secretary of State
1972
No Score Yet MacKenna's Gold
  • The Preacher
1969
100% How the West Was Won
  • Abraham Lincoln
1963
No Score Yet Jacqueline Kennedy's Asian Journey
  • Actor
1962
No Score Yet The Great Imposter
  • Abbott Donner
1961
No Score Yet The Queen's Guards
  • Actor
1961
No Score Yet The Naked and the Dead
  • Gen. Cummings
1958
No Score Yet Omar Khayyam
  • The Shah
1957
No Score Yet The Naked Eye
  • Narrator
1956
88% East of Eden
  • Adam Trask
1955
No Score Yet Battle Cry
  • Gen. Snipes
1955
No Score Yet Prince Of Players
  • Junius Brutus Booth
1955
No Score Yet The Desert Song
  • Actor
1953
No Score Yet Carson City
  • A.J. 'Big' Jack Davis
1952
No Score Yet Come Fill the Cup
  • John Ives
1951
80% David and Bathsheba
  • Nathan
1951
No Score Yet Dallas
  • Will Marlow
1950
No Score Yet Chain Lightning
  • Leland Willis
1950
No Score Yet Barricade
  • Boss Kruger
1950
No Score Yet Roseanna McCoy
  • Old Randall McCoy
1949
83% The Fountainhead
  • Gail Wynand
1949
No Score Yet Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Actor
1947
86% Possessed
  • Dean Graham
1947
95% Stairway to Heaven (A Matter of Life and Death)
  • Abraham Farlan
1947
No Score Yet Hotel Berlin
  • Arnim von Dahnwitz
1945
No Score Yet God Is My Co-Pilot
  • Maj. Gen. Chennault
1945
95% The Woman in the Window
  • D.A. Frank Lalor
1944
88% Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Jonathan Brewster
1944
No Score Yet Action in the North Atlantic
  • Capt. Steve Jarvis
1943
63% Desperate Journey
  • Maj. Otto Baumeister
1942
67% Reap the Wild Wind
  • King Cutler
1942
No Score Yet Dangerously They Live
  • Dr. Ingersoll
1941
88% 49th Parallel (The Invaders)
  • Andy Brock
1941
80% Abe Lincoln in Illinois
  • Abraham Lincoln
1940
No Score Yet Santa Fe Trail
  • John Brown
1940
No Score Yet Footsteps in the Sand(Black Limelight)
  • Peter Charrington
1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty
  • Actor
1939
No Score Yet The Drum (Drums)
  • Prince Ghul
1938
100% The Prisoner of Zenda
  • Black Michael
1937
No Score Yet Fire Over England
  • King Philip II
1937
No Score Yet Under the Red Robe
  • Cardinal Richelieu
1937
No Score Yet The Hurricane
  • Governor Eugene De Laage
1937
92% Things to Come
  • Oswald CabalJohn Cabal
1936
83% The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Chauvelin
1935
100% The Old Dark House
  • Philip Waverton
1932
No Score Yet Dreaming Lips
  • Miguel del Vayo
1932
No Score Yet The Speckled Band
  • Sherlock Holmes
1931

Quotes from Raymond Massey's Characters