The Man Who Played God (1922)

Genres - Drama  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Esteemed stage actor George Arliss became the screen's unlikeliest star at the ripe age of 53 in 1921. But the odd-looking, very mature Arliss had a rare talent and charisma, and younger, more attractive stars had to work extra hard to make their presence known next to him. In this drama, which was based on a play that came from a Gouveneur Morris story, he even portrays a romantic figure. John Arden (Arliss) is a highly respected musician who marries the much-younger Marjorie Blaine (Ann Forrest). He gives a private concert, and anarchists toss a bomb at a couple of the guests, who happen to be royal family members. The explosion renders Arden deaf, but he learns to lip read, which enables him to discover what others are saying. The words he reads coming out of a friend's mouth lead him to believe that he is a burden to his wife. He resolves to commit suicide, but Carter (Ivan Simpson), the family retainer, distracts him by urging him to look out the window. With the help of binoculars, Arden discovers some people talking and discerns that they are far worse off than he is. He decides to devote himself to helping others, but still he believes that Marjorie has stuck by him purely out of duty. Finally he realizes that she actually loves him very deeply, and a fall brings him back his hearing.



bomb, concert, deafness, husband-and-wife, musician, terrorist-attack, suicide, royalty