Disraeli (1929)

90 mins | Drama | 1 November 1929

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writer:

Cinematographer:

Lee Garmes

Editor:

Owen Marks

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Disraeli was nominated for an Academy Award in the Outstanding Production category. George Arliss won in the Best Actor category. AMPAS sources note that when Arliss was nominated, his performances in both this film and The Green Goddess (See Entry) were under consideration. At the awards ceremony, however, only his Disraeli performance was acknowledged. Disraeli marked Arliss' first appearance onscreen in five years and his released first sound and dialogue film. According to the Var and NYT reviews of The Green Goddess , that film was shot prior to Disraeli , but held back by Warner Bros. to be released after.
       The play Disraeli , which opened on Broadway in 1911, starred Arliss in the title role. The actor also starred in a 1917 Broadway revival of the play, as well as a 1921 United Artists release of the same name, directed by Henry Kolker and also co-starring Florence Arliss, the actor's wife (See Entry).
       Voted one of the Ten Best Pictures of 1929 by a FD poll, announced in its 7 Feb 1930 ... More Less

Disraeli was nominated for an Academy Award in the Outstanding Production category. George Arliss won in the Best Actor category. AMPAS sources note that when Arliss was nominated, his performances in both this film and The Green Goddess (See Entry) were under consideration. At the awards ceremony, however, only his Disraeli performance was acknowledged. Disraeli marked Arliss' first appearance onscreen in five years and his released first sound and dialogue film. According to the Var and NYT reviews of The Green Goddess , that film was shot prior to Disraeli , but held back by Warner Bros. to be released after.
       The play Disraeli , which opened on Broadway in 1911, starred Arliss in the title role. The actor also starred in a 1917 Broadway revival of the play, as well as a 1921 United Artists release of the same name, directed by Henry Kolker and also co-starring Florence Arliss, the actor's wife (See Entry).
       Voted one of the Ten Best Pictures of 1929 by a FD poll, announced in its 7 Feb 1930 issue. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
EHW & MPW
14 Dec 1929
p. 44.
Film Daily
13 Oct 1929
p. 8.
Film Daily
7 Feb 1930
p. 1.
New York Times
3 Oct 1929
p. 27.
Variety
9 Oct 1929
p. 46.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 November 1929
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 2 October 1929
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 October 1929
Copyright Number:
LP756
Physical Properties:
Sound
Vitaphone
Black and White
gauge
35mm
Sound, also silent
Also a silent version.
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,044
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is stymied by Liberal opponent Gladstone in an attempt to appropriate an unusually large slice of power and financial credit, and, feeling "bound to furnish [his] antagonists with arguments, but not with comprehension," he retires to his country estate, Hughenden, amidst public agitation. A mysterious Mrs. Travers, whom Disraeli knows to be a Russian spy, learns of Disraeli's intention to buy the Suez Canal from Egypt and ensure England's Indian Empire, when the prime minister receives a coded telegram indicating Egyptian khedive Ismail Pasha's immediate financial throes and his susceptibility to an offer. Unable to obtain credit from the Bank of England, he arranges through international Jewish banker Hugh Meyers for funding and dispatches Charles (Lord Deeford) with Meyer's check to Cairo. Charles arrives ahead of Foljambe, Mrs. Travers' accomplice, and obtains the controlling shares in the Canal, but Disraeli's elation is shortlived as Meyers informs him of his firm's bankruptcy. Disraeli bluffs the reluctant Bank of England manager, Lord Probert, into honoring the check, and Queen Victoria later graces a reception at Downing Street honoring Disraeli, who has made her "Empress of ... +


British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is stymied by Liberal opponent Gladstone in an attempt to appropriate an unusually large slice of power and financial credit, and, feeling "bound to furnish [his] antagonists with arguments, but not with comprehension," he retires to his country estate, Hughenden, amidst public agitation. A mysterious Mrs. Travers, whom Disraeli knows to be a Russian spy, learns of Disraeli's intention to buy the Suez Canal from Egypt and ensure England's Indian Empire, when the prime minister receives a coded telegram indicating Egyptian khedive Ismail Pasha's immediate financial throes and his susceptibility to an offer. Unable to obtain credit from the Bank of England, he arranges through international Jewish banker Hugh Meyers for funding and dispatches Charles (Lord Deeford) with Meyer's check to Cairo. Charles arrives ahead of Foljambe, Mrs. Travers' accomplice, and obtains the controlling shares in the Canal, but Disraeli's elation is shortlived as Meyers informs him of his firm's bankruptcy. Disraeli bluffs the reluctant Bank of England manager, Lord Probert, into honoring the check, and Queen Victoria later graces a reception at Downing Street honoring Disraeli, who has made her "Empress of India." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.