General Crack is a 1929 American pre-Code part-talkie historical costume melodrama with Technicolor sequences which was directed by Alan Crosland and produced and distributed by Warner Bros. It was filmed and premiered in 1929, and released early in 1930. It stars John Barrymore in his first full-length all-talking feature. The film would prove to be Crosland and Barrymore's last historical epic together.
|Directed by||Alan Crosland|
|Produced by||Ned Marin|
|Written by||J. Grubb Alexander (scenario & dialogue)|
Walter Anthony (adaptation)
|Based on||General Crack|
by George R. Preedy
|Music by||Rex Dunn|
|Cinematography||Tony Gaudio (Technicolor)|
|Edited by||Harold McLernon|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The film takes place in the 18th century Austria and revolves around Prince Christian, commonly known as General Crack (John Barrymore). His father had been a respectable member of the nobility but his mother was a gypsy. General Crack, as a soldier of fortune, spent his adult life selling his services to the highest bidder. He espouses the doubtful cause of Leopold II of Austria (Lowell Sherman, reigned 1790-1792) after demanding the sister of the emperor in marriage as well as half of the gold of the Holy Roman Empire. Before he has finished his work, however, he meets a gypsy dancer (Armida) and weds her. Complications arise when he takes his gypsy wife to the Austrian court and falls desperately in love with the emperor's sister (Marian Nixon). The court sequence was originally in Technicolor and proved to be Barrymore's last appearance in color.
- John Barrymore as Duke of Kurland / Prince Christian
- Philippe De Lacy as Young Christian
- Lowell Sherman as Leopold II
- Marian Nixon as Archduchess Maria Luisa
- Armida as Fidelia
- Hobart Bosworth as Count Hensdorff
- Jacqueline Logan as Countess Carola
- Otto Matieson as Col. Gabor
- Andrés de Segurola as Col. Pons
- Douglas Gerrard as Capt. Sweeney
- Wilhelm von Brincken as Capt. Schmidt (credited as William von Brincken)
- General Lodijensky as Capt Banning (credited as Theodore Lodi)
- Nick Thompson as Typsy Chieftain
- Curt Rehfeld as Lt. Dennis
- Julanne Johnston as Court Lady
- Guy Schact as Pietro
- Carrie Daumery as Madame Frump (credited as Madame Daumery)
The sound version of General Crack is lost. The silent version of this film, with Czech intertitles, survives, but does not have any of the original color sequences. Copies are located in the Czech archive and the Museum of Modern Art. Although the complete soundtrack for the sound version survives on Vitaphone disks, the silent version was either a "B" negative or an alternate take with intertitles. So while this is a legitimate version of the film, it does not match up with the Vitaphone soundtrack.
- Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 10 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
- Progressive Silent Film List: General Crack at the silentera.com
- He had previously appeared in The Show of Shows (1929) in color.
- John Barrymore General Crack 1929 on YouTube
- Film details, books.google.com.pe; accessed January 20, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to General Crack.|
- General Crack at the American Film Institute Catalog
- General Crack on IMDb
- Synopsis at AllMovie
- General Crack details, virtual-history.com