Disraeli (1921 film)

Disraeli (1921) is an American silent historical drama film directed by Henry Kolker and starring George Arliss. This film features Arliss's portrayal of Benjamin Disraeli. He had played the same role in the play Disraeli in 1911. Arliss also reprised this role in the 1929 sound film Disraeli.

1921 theatrical poster
Directed byHenry Kolker
Produced byDistinctive Productions (formed by Arliss)
Written byForrest Halsey (scenario)
Based onDisraeli
by Louis Napoleon Parker
StarringGeorge Arliss
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck (fr.wikipedia)
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • August 28, 1921 (1921-08-28)
Running time
7-9 reels at 6800 feet (circa 80-90 minutes)
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

A British film of the play, Disraeli, had been made in 1916 with the permission of the author Louis Napoleon Parker. Because of the production of the 1916 film angered Arliss while he was still performing the play on Broadway, Arliss later secured all screen rights to the play from its author Louis Napoleon Parker. The 1921 movie is the result of Arliss's use of his rights after his efforts and frustrations with Parker.[1][2]


As described in a film magazine,[3] Disraeli (Arliss), a middle class Jew, has become the British Prime Minister under Queen Victoria and incurs the enmity of nobles and racist snobs. He knows that Russia is angling through diplomacy and intrigue for possession of the Suez Canal and, realizing that unless Britain secures it, the strength of her empire will be lost. He plays a lone game for control of the canal and wins. In his final hour of honor at court, those who stood against him claim the honor of having helped him.


Survival status

According to silentera.com, this is a lost film with the exception of one reel held at the George Eastman House.[4] The FIAF database and Library of Congress Silent Database list complete copies of Disraeli in Gosfilmofond, Moscow, Russia, and Cinematheque Royale de Belgique in Brussels.[5]

See also


  1. George Arliss: The Man Who Played God by Robert M. Fells c. 2004
  2. The Broadway League. "Disraeli - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". ibdb.com. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  3. "A Master-Work from Practically Every Angle (reprint from Film Daily)". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 13 (13): 13. September 24, 1921.
  4. "Progressive Silent Film List: Disraeli". silentera.com.
  5. "Disraeli / Henry Kolker [motion picture]:Bibliographic Record Description: Performing Arts Encyclopedia, Library of Congress". loc.gov. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
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