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The Man Who Played God (1932)

After losing his hearing, a musician uses lip-reading to help others.

Director:

John G. Adolfi

Writers:

Jules Eckert Goodman (based on the play by), Gouverneur Morris (from the short story by) (as Governeur Morris) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Arliss ... Montgomery Royle (as Mr. George Arliss)
Violet Heming ... Mildred Miller
Bette Davis ... Grace Blair
André Luguet ... The King (as Andre Luguet)
Louise Closser Hale ... Florence Royle
Donald Cook ... Harold Van Adam
Ivan F. Simpson ... Battle (as Ivan Simpson)
Oscar Apfel ... Appleby - the Lip Reader
Charles E. Evans Charles E. Evans ... The Doctor (as Charles Evans)
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Alice Chittendon
William Janney ... First Boy
Fred Howard Fred Howard ... Man (scenes deleted)
Murray Kinnell ... King's Aide
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Storyline

Montgomery Royle is a famed pianist whose student, the much younger Grace Blair, believes herself to be in love with him. When an explosion destroys Royle's hearing, he is bitter at the loss of his art and profession. His sister Florence persuades him to learn lip-reading as a way to break out of the isolation of deafness. Royle discovers a new meaning to his life when he uses his new lip-reading knowledge to help others. But the new skill has serious ramifications for his relationship with Grace. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'A Modern Drama From Real Life'

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

19 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Covek koji se dopao Bogu See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Arliss called Bette Davis on the telephone and asked her to audition for the role of his fiancée. Davis thought that somebody tried to play a practical joke on her and didn't believe it was actually Arliss on the phone. After she realized it was indeed him she rushed over to the studio to audition and got the part. See more »

Goofs

When Royle goes to his desk after observing the couple in the park, the shadow of the boom microphone dips onto the window curtain behind him. See more »

Quotes

Grace Blair: You're my ideal!
Montgomery Royle: I shall always be... your friend.
See more »

Connections

Featured in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata No.14 in C Sharp Minor, Op.27 No.2 ('Moonlight')
(1802) (uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Played on piano by George Arliss (dubbed by Salvatore Santaella) for the king
See more »

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User Reviews

 
God Works In Mysterious Ways
10 August 2005 | by sol1218See all my reviews

(Some Spoilers) Undoubtedly the best of the half dozen or so versions of the film released over the years which included the 1955 Liberace soap opera "Sincerely Yours".

The movie "The Man Who Played God" is about how a person who knew nothing but success all his life being forced to see the world the way the vast majority of people see it,cold cruel and unfeeling. As well as have his faith in God and himself tested to the fullest extent possible.

Born into money and a world renowned concert pianist Monty Royle has never had a bad thing happen to him in all his fifty years. Having his young and pretty music student Grace Blair fall in love with him Monty tells her that if she still feels the same way about him six months hence as she does now he'll marry her. Later after an exhilarating concert at the Paris Music Hall, which brought the roof down, Monty is about to give a private performance to a European monarch when a group of terrorists, from the Kings country, detonates a bomb that causes a massive explosion outside the hall.

Monty completely loses his hearing and quickly falls into a deep depression knowing that the music that he plays and loves so much, that's his only reason for living, will never be played or heard or him again. Back home in New York Monty's depression gets more and more acute and even being taught to lip-read by Dr. Charles E. Adams can't make up for his not being able to hear his beautiful music. It's then that the thought of killing himself enters Monty's head.

Attempting to jump out of a window in his suite of apartments Monty is saved from killing himself by his loyal and dedicated butler Battle. Told by Battle what a sniveling coward he his by him trying to do himself in Monty tries to pull himself together as he later starts to become somewhat of a voyeur. Watching the world go by from his porch and patio window overlooking New York's Central Park.

It's then when Monty comes up with this idea of reading the lips, through high powered binoculars, of the people milling in and around the park.Finding out about peoples problems and then helping them out from a distance gave Monty the feeling that he was working at the right hand of God and doing God's work for the good of all Mankind.

Egotistical yes But Monty's obsession did help the people that he spied upon with money to help them out of their depressing situations in life. In one case he even prevented a couple whom the man, who was about to be arrested for embezzlement, from committing suicide. When Battle came to their rescue by paying back the stolen money, just in the nick of time, before they swallowed a poison cocktail.

All this time Mildred Miller who carried a torch for Monty for years knew that Grace had fallen in love with Harold but couldn't bring herself to tell Monty since she felt that it would kill him if she did. Monty later seeing Grace and Harold, who just came back from Pasadena with his binoculars outside in the park. And to the objection of Mildred, who was with him by the window, reads Grace and Harold's lips and realizes that she's not in love with him anymore she's really in love with Harold.

Monty now has the biggest decision of his life to make: keep Grace from marrying Harold, whom she's in love with, or letting her guilt-feelings about poor Monty take over her mind and have her marry him. Monty sets Grace free from the emotional tie thats between her and him by letting her know that it's all right to follow her heart and marry Harold and that he'll do nothing to stand in Grace's way.

Fine movie about faith in God and in one's own ability to see things through and let the chips fall where they may no matter what the consequences turn out to be. At the start of the move "The Man Who Played God" Monty was interrupted in giving a performance to a king that cost him his hearing. When the movie ended Monty gave the greatest performance of his life at the at the quaint little Manhattan church that his late mother, Margrate Ruth Royal, attended all her life and that he donated the new church organ in her memory. Alone with only Mildred in attendance Monty gave the opening performance of the new church organ not to just any king mind you but to the King of Kings himself.


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