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Miles Malleson


Swithin
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I learned something about the English actor Miles Malleson (1888-1969) last week. Though perhaps best known for his movie roles (shown below as Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest; Dr. Tobler in The Brides of Dracula; and Windrush Sr. in I'm All Right Jack); he was also a playwright and screenwriter (as well as an adapter of Moliere's plays). Last week, I went to the world premiere of his 1933 play, Yours Unfaithfully, a play about open marriage. It's fascinating, timely, and received a good review in The New York Times.  I'd like to see more of his work.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/theater/yours-unfaithfully-review.html?_r=0

 

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10952-9214.jpg

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I learned something about the English actor Miles Malleson (1888-1969) last week. Though perhaps best known for his movie roles (shown below as Canon Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest; Dr. Tobler in The Brides of Dracula; and Windrush Sr. in I'm All Right Jack); he was also a playwright and screenwriter (as well as an adapter of Moliere's plays). Last week, I went to the world premiere of his 1933 play, Yours Unfaithfully, a play about open marriage. It's fascinating, timely, and received a good review in The New York Times.  I'd like to see more of his work.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/26/theater/yours-unfaithfully-review.html?_r=0

 

img-37281-11172f6f21.jpg

 

291.png?w=714&h=535

 

10952-9214.jpg

He was such a superb character actor.

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Ah, so THAT'S his name!

 

Another one like PERCY HELTON. 

 

Years ago I used to watch MERV GRIFFIN'S daytime talk show, and he introdueced Percy by saying something like...

 

"You've seen my next guest in countless movies and TV shows over the years, but probably never knew his name.  Every time you saw him you probably thought, "Oh.  THAT guy!"  

 

So, for ME , MILES was "THAT guy!"  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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One of my favourite Miles Malleson performances is as the Sultan in Korda's Thief of Bagdad who likes to collect toys. He's so enchanted with a large windup horse that he can ride through the skies that he agrees to his daugher's marriage to the evil Jafar (Conrad Veidt) in exchange for him.

 

Malleson is charmingly naive and childlike in the role, making it impossible to dislike his character in spite of the fact that he is hardly the ideal father. He will later, however, meet his fate when Jafar introduces him to a new toy, a four armed Balinese statue of a maiden who will hold him in her arms. One of her hands, however, will hold a knife she will plunge into his back as she caresses him.

 

This latter scene is noteworthy for an eroticism unexpected in an essentially innocent fantasy adventure of this nature.

 

debcefc30c32b594a7cf6e3a47fd2162.jpg

 

thief-of-bagdad-statue.jpg

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One of my favourite Miles Malleson performances is as the Sultan in Korda's Thief of Bagdad who likes to collect toys. He's so enchanted with a large windup horse that he can ride through the skies that he agrees to his daugher's marriage to the evil Jafar (Conrad Veidt) in exchange for him.

 

Malleson is charmingly naive and childlike in the role, making it impossible to dislike his character in spite of the fact that he is hardly the ideal father. He will later, however, meet his fate when Jafar introduces him to a new toy, a four armed Balinese statue of a maiden who will hold him in her arms. One of her hands, however, will hold a knife she will plunge into his back as she caresses him.

 

This latter scene is noteworthy for an eroticism unexpected in an essentially innocent fantasy adventure of this nature.

 

debcefc30c32b594a7cf6e3a47fd2162.jpg

 

thief-of-bagdad-statue.jpg

miles malleson was also good as a doctor in The Brides of Dracula. :)

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Ah, so THAT'S his name!

 

Another one like PERCY HELTON. 

 

Years ago I used to watch MERV GRIFFIN'S daytime talk show, and he introdueced Percy by saying something like...

 

"You've seen my next guest in countless movies and TV shows over the years, but probably never knew his name.  Every time you saw him you probably thought, "Oh.  THAT guy!"  

 

So, for ME , MILES was "THAT guy!"  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

he was pretty funny as the wine merchant in The Robe. :D

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My gosh, Miles Malleson is UBIQUITOUS!  Every other British film I see has his name in the credits.  He was a wonderfully eccentric performer and a fine dialogue writer.  I have a print of one of his earliest films - CITY OF SONG with Jan Kiepura.  He played old even in 1931.

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