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Cardinal Richelieu (1935) [George Arliss]


Cardinal Richelieu (1935),  starring George Arliss, Maureen O’Sullivan, Edward Arnold and Cesar Romero

Cardinal Richelieu is a 1935 American historical film directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring George Arliss, Maureen O’Sullivan, Edward Arnold and Cesar Romero. It was based on the 1839 play Richelieu by Edward Bulwer-Lytton depicting the life of the great seventeenth century French statesman Cardinal Richelieu and his dealings with Louis XIII.

George Arliss as Cardinal Richelieu

In short,  Cardinal Richelieu is an excellent film … Due in no small part to the acting ability of George Arliss as the title character. Arliss portrays Richelieu as a master manipulator. He checks and checkmates the various court intrigues. As well as dealing with the romantic subplot involving his own daughter, and his manipulated son-in-law. Who nearly murders him towards the end of the film. But all turns out well — €” for the glory of France!

Trivia for  Cardinal Richelieu

  • Stars George Arliss and Edward Arnold did not get along at all on this film. Arnold charitably describing working with Arliss as “€œa trying experience”€.
  • In the film, Richelieu is depicted doting on his cat, Mistigris (the ‘€˜Joker’ in a pack of cards). By the 18C, his fondness for cats had become an established part of his legend.
  • The play first opened in London in 1839. Then on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 4 September 1839 with Edwin Forrest as the title character. There were 12 Broadway revivals, the last in 1929.
  • €œLux Radio Theater broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 23, 1939. George Arliss, Cesar Romero and Douglass Dumbrille all reprised their film roles.


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