The Masquerader (1933)

75 or 78 mins | Drama | 2 September 1933

Director:

Richard Wallace

Cinematographer:

Gregg Toland

Editor:

Stuart Heisler

Production Designer:

Richard Day

Production Company:

Samuel Goldwyn, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a review of the Katherine Cecil Thurston play in NYT , it had opened the previous season "in the provinces" and was brought to Broadway after a successful run. The date of the play's first performance before its New York opening has not been determined. Var , NYT , and several modern sources incorrectly attribute the part of "Lakely" to Creighton Hale, who played "Bobby Blessington" in the film, as noted in MPH , but was not given screen credit. Onscreen credits misspell Juliette Compton's name as "Julliette." Contemporary news items include Grace Poggi and Cissy FitzGerald in the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. One news item noted that FitzGerald, who had been a popular stage and film actress in the 1910s who was known for her distinctive wink, still retained her wink. Other news items noted that William Anthony McGuire was to have written the screenplay but had to withdraw after an appendicitis attack, and that King Vidor was originally set to direct the picture but exercised his contractual option with Goldwyn and declined the assignment. During production, actress Elissa Landi became ill, necessitating a halt in production in late Dec 1932. Because of the length of Landi's illness, HR noted that Benita Hume and Esther Ralston were both considered as replacements for the role of Eve Chilcote, but when negotiations for those two actresses fell threw, Goldyn decided to hold up production until Landi's return. A 7 Jan 1933 news item in HR noted that Landi composed the music that she played on the piano ... More Less

According to a review of the Katherine Cecil Thurston play in NYT , it had opened the previous season "in the provinces" and was brought to Broadway after a successful run. The date of the play's first performance before its New York opening has not been determined. Var , NYT , and several modern sources incorrectly attribute the part of "Lakely" to Creighton Hale, who played "Bobby Blessington" in the film, as noted in MPH , but was not given screen credit. Onscreen credits misspell Juliette Compton's name as "Julliette." Contemporary news items include Grace Poggi and Cissy FitzGerald in the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. One news item noted that FitzGerald, who had been a popular stage and film actress in the 1910s who was known for her distinctive wink, still retained her wink. Other news items noted that William Anthony McGuire was to have written the screenplay but had to withdraw after an appendicitis attack, and that King Vidor was originally set to direct the picture but exercised his contractual option with Goldwyn and declined the assignment. During production, actress Elissa Landi became ill, necessitating a halt in production in late Dec 1932. Because of the length of Landi's illness, HR noted that Benita Hume and Esther Ralston were both considered as replacements for the role of Eve Chilcote, but when negotiations for those two actresses fell threw, Goldyn decided to hold up production until Landi's return. A 7 Jan 1933 news item in HR noted that Landi composed the music that she played on the piano during a scene with Ronald Colman.
       The Masquerader was Colman's eighteenth and last film for Samuel Goldwyn. Colman had been Goldwyn's top star for several years prior to this production, but, according to a news item in HR on 11 Nov 1932, Colman sued Goldwyn for $2,000,000 for defamation of character. According to modern sources, the two began to disagree increasingly during the production of Colman's previous film, Cynara . Modern sources offer various reasons for the suit, but most attribute it to information given to the press by a Goldwyn publicist which implied that Colman was a heavy drinker. Subsequent to Colman's discovery of the story, the actor refused to complete the last two years of his contract. The suit was settled out-of-court, by terms of which Colman agreed to honor his contract if he were loaned to another studio for his final pictures. His next film, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back , was made for David O. Selznick's company and released by United Artists in 1934 (see above). According to a 1937 speech delivered by Selznick that is reproduced in a modern source, The Masquerader was not a success, and because it was not, when Selznick wanted Colman to play a dual role in A Tale of Two Cities (see below), for M-G-M, the actor refused. In 1937, however, Colman again played a dual role, but with greater success, in Selznick's The Prisoner of Zenda (see below). The Masquerader was previously filmed in 1922 by director James Young for Associated First National and starred Guy Bates Post, the star of the original stage version. Like Colman, Bates played both Chilcote and Loder (See Entry). More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
12 Sep 32
p. 4.
Film Daily
13 Sep 32
p. 10.
Film Daily
15 Nov 32
p. 8.
Film Daily
8 Mar 33
p. 2.
HF
3 Dec 32
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 33
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Feb 33
p. 37.
New York Times
4 Sep 33
p. 9.
Variety
5 Sep 33
p. 19.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr and Adpt
Dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Incidental mus
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Masquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston (London, 1904) and the play of the same name by John Hunter Booth (New York, 3 Sep 1917).
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 September 1933
Production Date:
late November 1932--mid January 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 September 1933
Copyright Number:
LP 40885
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 78
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Soon after the dissipated Sir John Chilcote has disgraced himself during a speech in Parliament, he bumps into his estranged cousin, John Loder, his exact double, in the London fog. Loder jokingly says that he is available to act as a double at dull dinner parties, and the two part. The next day, Chilcote, debilitated by drugs, decides that he needs Loder to take his place in Parliament. Despite Loder's protests, he finally accepts when Brock, Chilcote's butler, convinces him of the family's duty to England. Loder wants to end the masquerade as soon as possible, but his success and Chilcote's inability to fight off drugs prolongs the arrangement. Eve, Chilcote's much neglected wife, begins to fall in love with Loder, thinking that he is her newly reformed husband. Loder loves her as well, but he honorably rebuffs her when she comes to his bedroom one evening. The only person who suspects Loder is Lady Diana Joyce, Chilcote's mistress, who discovers the ruse when she hires a detective. At a dinner party at a night club, Diana tries to unmask the imposter, but at the right moment an intoxicated Chilcote returns as Loder secretly departs. Later, Loder resolves to call the masquerade off for good, but Chilcote dies in Loder's rooms, and Brock arranges for the death certificate to identify the body as Loder's. Loder finally is convinced to assume his cousin's identity for good when Eve tells him that Brock has told her the truth, and she wants him to ... +


Soon after the dissipated Sir John Chilcote has disgraced himself during a speech in Parliament, he bumps into his estranged cousin, John Loder, his exact double, in the London fog. Loder jokingly says that he is available to act as a double at dull dinner parties, and the two part. The next day, Chilcote, debilitated by drugs, decides that he needs Loder to take his place in Parliament. Despite Loder's protests, he finally accepts when Brock, Chilcote's butler, convinces him of the family's duty to England. Loder wants to end the masquerade as soon as possible, but his success and Chilcote's inability to fight off drugs prolongs the arrangement. Eve, Chilcote's much neglected wife, begins to fall in love with Loder, thinking that he is her newly reformed husband. Loder loves her as well, but he honorably rebuffs her when she comes to his bedroom one evening. The only person who suspects Loder is Lady Diana Joyce, Chilcote's mistress, who discovers the ruse when she hires a detective. At a dinner party at a night club, Diana tries to unmask the imposter, but at the right moment an intoxicated Chilcote returns as Loder secretly departs. Later, Loder resolves to call the masquerade off for good, but Chilcote dies in Loder's rooms, and Brock arranges for the death certificate to identify the body as Loder's. Loder finally is convinced to assume his cousin's identity for good when Eve tells him that Brock has told her the truth, and she wants him to stay. +

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

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