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The Great Garrick

(1937 b 89')

En: 6 Ed: 5

The Comedie Francaise tries to humiliate David Garrick; he realizes they are acting but does not know a woman he met was not pretending to love him.

In 1750 the great actor David Garrick (Brian Aherne) plays Hamlet's death scene in London and is applauded. He announces he is going to Paris to teach them how to act. The Comedie Francaise is offended by his conceit, and playwright Beaumarchais (Lionel Atwill) suggests they humiliate him at an inn. Garrick arrives at an inn with Tubby (Edward Everett Horton) and is scared. The prompter Jean Cabot (Etienne Girardot) is thrown out of the Comedie Francaise and arrives to warn Garrick. The Comedie Francaise president Picard (Melville Cooper) rents the Adam and Eve Inn for the actors and instructs them in their roles to scare Garrick. Cabot avoids this inn, but Garrick and Tubby ask for rooms from Picard, acting as innkeeper. A servant destroys a wheel of the carriage. Garrick tells Tubby the inn is full of actors. At dinner two men quarrel and fight around them.

Germaine (Olivia de Havilland) arrives in distress but learns there is no room. Garrick offers his room and leads her there as Picard tells the other actors he couldn't get rid of her. Tubby and Garrick think she is acting too. Germaine calls for help, and Garrick removes a frog from her bed. The two men stage another fight, but Garrick has gone outside with Germaine by a pond. She learns he is the great Garrick, and he asks who she really is; but a melodramatic triangle interrupts with shots. Garrick and Germaine go inside. She tells him she ran away from her father to avoid marriage. Tubby rescues Garrick from her acting. Garrick tells Germaine he is in love with her, and they kiss. The two come in fighting; but after one is stabbed, Garrick closes the door and asks Germaine to go to London. Garrick asks Picard for a carriage or a blacksmith. Louis acts mad with a big knife. Garrick remains calm but hurries out. He hears the blacksmith reading his part. Picard exalts in their triumph. The blacksmith comes in implying Garrick is dead, but it is Garrick. He explains how he knew Picard was not an innkeeper and suggests better acting. Garrick apologizes for the rumor he would teach them. Then he reprimands Germaine for acting badly and admits he was playing. She gets angry. He says he will not act with her and leaves. Picard begs Garrick to stay, but Germaine leaves.

A few weeks later Garrick is to play Don Juan in Paris. He asks Picard about the girl and learns she is not an actress. Garrick realizes he is a fool and says he can't play with a broken heart. He goes to announce it, but he sees Germaine and says he is in love with France.

This romantic comedy is a fictional story about the famous actor in which he sees through the actors' trap but is caught in one of his own, showing his skill but taking his ego down a notch.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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