The Amateur Gentleman (January 20, 1936)

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The Amateur Gentleman
 

Released on January 20, 1936: The son of an innkeeper masquerades as a Gentleman to find out which of the Gentry stole a priceless pearl necklace and framed his father.

Produced by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Directed by Alfred Zeisler

The Actors: Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (John Beverley aka Barnabas Barty), Elissa Landi (Lady Cleone Meredith), Gordon Harker (Natty Bell), Basil Sydney (Louis Chichester), Hugh Williams (Lord Ronald Meredith), Irene Browne (Lady Hunstantion), Athole Stewart (Marquess of Comberhurst), Coral Browne (Pauline Darville), Margaret Lockwood (Georgina Huntstanton), Esme Percy (John Townsend), Frank Bertram (Belcher), Gilbert Davis (Prince Regent), Frank Pettingell (John Barty), June Duprez (unknown), Marius Goring (unknown), John Singer (son of the hanged man)

 

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The Secret in the Snuff Box

The story stands on its own as a classic crime thriller, so forgive me if I tell you instead about the man who produced it and stars in it. Pioneering actor Douglas Fairbanks was married to Beth Sully, the wealthy daughter of a cotton plantation owner, and their son Douglas followed his father into acting a bit, but I don't think it was ever his primary passion. My interest was really piqued when I discovered that one of the businesses that he owned was a company that sold popcorn. When his parents divorced he travelled the world with his mother, taking a hand at painting and sculpting and athletics . . . it seems that everything he tried his hand at was a success. His business interests included mining, a chain of bowling alleys, hotels and more, but he was also a much decorated naval officer during World War II and served President Roosevelt as a special envoy to South America. Of course, you might imagine that he would marry well, and in 1929 he did marry a young beauty named Lucille Le Sueur . . . I'm sure you remember her . . . You say that you don't recognize who Lucille Le Sueur was? . . . . Think hard now . . . Maybe you remember her movie screen name . . . Joan Crawford! Well, if this isn't enough to whet your whistle for this adventure . . . One of my mentors was once asked if attaining great wealth caused a person to have a better moral character than when in poverty, and he replied that if a person is a skunk or a saint when living in poverty, the person will still be a skunk or a saint after gaining great wealth . . . the lack of or abundance of money does little to change what is inside a person. This crime drama set in olde England involves the royal gentry and a poor boy who pretends to be gentry to discover who framed his father and sent him to the hangman's gallows. It seems that there are skunks among the Gentry of England and one of them committed a heinous crime and framed his father for it. The good son goes to London masquerading as a Gentleman, and finally uncovers the identity of the man who sent his father to the gallows . . . But just as he is about to bring justice to the scoundrel and freedom to his father . . . The scoundrel murders his lady accomplice and frames the son for the murder . . . Will father and son die side-by-side on the gallows for the crimes of a scoundrel gentleman, or will the secret inside the snuff box be the key to justice? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Athole Stewart
Athole Stewart
Basil Sydney
Basil Sydney
Basil Sydney and Coral Browne
Basil Sydney and Coral Browne
Basil Sydney and Coral Browne
Basil Sydney and Coral Browne
Basil Sydney and Elissa Landi
Basil Sydney and Elissa Landi
Basil Sydney
Basil Sydney
Coral Browne
Coral Browne
Coral Browne
Coral Browne
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Basil Sydney
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Basil Sydney
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Coral Browne
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Coral Browne
Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Elissa Landi
Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Elissa Landi
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Elissa Landi
Elissa Landi
Elissa Landi and Basil Sydney
Elissa Landi and Basil Sydney
Elissa Landi and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Elissa Landi and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Elissa Landi and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Elissa Landi and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Elissa Landi and Margaret Lockwood
Elissa Landi and Margaret Lockwood
Elissa Landi
Elissa Landi
Elissa Landi
Elissa Landi
Frank Pettingell and Athole Stewart
Frank Pettingell and Athole Stewart
Gordon Harker and Frank Pettingell
Gordon Harker and Frank Pettingell
Gordon Harker, John Singer and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Gordon Harker, John Singer and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Gordon Harker
Gordon Harker
Hugh Williams
Hugh Williams
Hugh Williams and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Hugh Williams and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Hugh Williams and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Hugh Williams and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Hugh Williams and Margaret Lockwood
Hugh Williams and Margaret Lockwood
Hugh Williams proposes to Margaret Lockwood
Hugh Williams proposes to Margaret Lockwood
Hugh Williams
Hugh Williams
Margaret Lockwood and Irene Browne
Margaret Lockwood and Irene Browne