The Great Garrick (1937)





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Director James Whale, well known for his witty horror films, tackled comedy head-on in this period piece, set in the 18th Century. David Garrick (Brian Aherne) is a gifted but supremely arrogant British actor whose fame is exceeded only by his ego. After finishing a starring run at London's Drury Lane Theatre, Garrick informs the audience his next engagement will be at the Comedie Francaise in Paris, and adds that he plans to use the opportunity to teach the French a few things about acting. Stung by the insult, the Comedie Francaise company plan to take their revenge against Garrick by pulling an elaborate prank; on his first night in Paris, Garrick is taken to an inn where, unbeknown to him, the staff and clientele have been taken over by actors, who stage an lively evening for his benefit. Garrick soon sees through the ruse but plays along, and acts cool towards a lovely young woman, Germaine De Le Corbe (Olivia de Havilland), even though he's smitten with her. After giving Germaine the brush off, Garrick informs the assembled thespians that he saw through their trick, only to discover that Germaine happened upon the inn by accident and wasn't part of the act. Garrick realizes he's alienated the woman who has stolen his heart, and his grief begins to effect his performance as Don Juan. The Great Garrick also features Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton, and Melville Cooper; a young Lana Turner has a bit part.
Rating: NR
Genre: Comedy , Romance
Directed By: James Whale
Written By: Ernest Vajda
In Theaters: wide
Warner Bros.


Brian Aherne
as David Garrick
Olivia de Havilland
as Germaine de la Corbe
Lionel Atwill
as Mr. Beaumarchais
Melville Cooper
as M. Picard
Luis Alberni
as Basset
Marie Wilson
as Nicolle
Lana Turner
as Auber
Linda Perry
as Molee
Dorothy Tree
as Madame Moreau
Chester Clute
as Moreau
Etienne Girardot
as Jean Cabot
Albert Dekker
as LeBrun
Trevor Bardette
as Noverre, the Blacksmith
E.E. Clive
as Vendor
Milton A. Owen
as Capt. Thierre
Harry Davenport
as Innkeeper of Turk's Head
Paul Everton
as Innkeeper of Adam and Eve
Jack Norton
as Drunken Gentleman
Leyland Hodgson
as Man in Box
Fritz Leiber
as Horatio
Olaf Hytten
as Ambassador
Constance Tellissier
as Woman in Box
Connie Leon
as Woman in Audience
Elspeth Dudgeon
as Old Witch
Ben Welden
as Blacksmith
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Critic Reviews for The Great Garrick

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 14, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 14, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Under Whale's able direction it catches all the fun in the farce.

Full Review… | July 11, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Great Garrick


Pleasant little comedy with Aherne chomping into the hambone Garrick with much vigor. Keep a sharp eye out for a very young brunette Lana Turner as one of a gaggle of giggling girls in her second film appearance.

jay nixon
jay nixon

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