Raffles (United Artists) (1930)

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SAMUEL GOLDWYN Presents RONALD COLMAN “RAFFLES y y Adapted by SIDNEY HOWARD With KAY FRANCIS and DAVID TORRENCE Based on the Short Stories by E. W„ Hornung - PUBLICITY SECTION 1 UNITED ARTISTS PICTURE “RAFFLES” THRILLING ADVENTURE-DRAMA RONALD OILM AN’S NEW TALKING PICTURE Famous Melodrama That Scored Sensation on English and American Stages Chosen by Samuel Goldwyn as Star’s Successor to "Condemned!” Ronald Colman plays a smooth and polished English gentle¬ man, a society favorite and popular athlete in his third and latest talking picture, “Raffles,” the mystery thriller which is coming to the. theatre on. Refined and suave though he may be. Raffles finds the lure of criminal adventure more than he can resist. In consequence his many distinguished associates are victimized time and again without the faintest suspicion, of who the malefactor can be. ^Being parallel in theme, “Raffles” is a fit successor to Colman’s two previous talker successes, “Bulldog Drummond and Con¬ demned!” A new force has come into Raffles’ life at the time this modernized version of the famous melodrama opens. The famous Amateur Cracksman has given up his obliquities in favor of love. But his resolution to reform is short-lived and again he is shoved head on into his last and greatest adventure, for this time the stakes are the honor of his best friend and the heart of the girl he adores. Sidney Howard has adapted the short stories of E. W. Hornung and the play by Hornung and Eugene W. Presbrey. In one form or an¬ other, it has been seen in every language and every country of the world during the past twenty-five years. So complicated and diverse was the ownership of ‘‘Raffles” that Samuel Goldwyn announced recent¬ ly that he purchased the first right to this before ‘‘Bulldog Drummond” was begun. It took two years be¬ fore the last rights were acquired, and more than 60 documents had to be lodged in the Goldwyn ar¬ chives. It is in this great role, made fa¬ mous on the stage in America by Kyrle Bellew and in England by Sir Gerald DuMaurier, and in silent pic¬ tures, by John Barrymore and House Peters, that Colman is to be seen. Goldwyn claims that even though the part has come to be rigidly set by tradition, Colman gives a start¬ ling original interpretation that not only differs from any earlier por¬ trayal of the role but also from any¬ thing Colman has yet attempted. Kay Francis, who gave so fine a performance opposite Colman s friend, William Powell, in ' Street of Chance,” is the Gwen of the story. She and Colman play out a touching romance that is an es¬ sential part of the play s high ad¬ venture. Miss Francis is the first brunette to have played opposite Colman since Agnes Ayres. She is the successor to a long line of blondes that includes Ann Harding, Joan Bennett, Lily Damita, Vilma Banky, Constance Talmadge and Lillian Gish. Two newcomers make their first screen appearance in support of Colman - Bramwell Fletcher, a young stage player already a favor¬ ite with Hollywood casting direc¬ tors, and Frances Dade, nineteen- year- old Philadelphia girl whom Mr. Goldwyn placed under contract last Fall. Since ‘‘Raffles was com¬ pleted, Miss Dade played with Low¬ ell Sherman in “He Knew Women ^ and with Cyril Maude in ‘‘Grumpy. To counterbalance this young talent, Goldwyn has the stage vet¬ erans, Alison Skipworth and Fred¬ erick Kerr. Wilson Benge, who was valet to Bulldog Drummond, serves Raffles in a similar capacity. David Torrence, who gave a po¬ table performance in “Disraeli is the Scotland Yard opponent of Raffles. Because Raffles was known to his friends as a great cricketer-one of England’s greatest-Samuel Gold¬ wyn has provided the first big league cricket sequence ever to be seen in a feature picture. Two cricket coaches and a great supply of uniforms, equipment and para¬ phernalia were brought from Eng¬ land. Every known player in the picture colony was mustered in for a part in the exciting sequences that represent the famous English game at its best. A full-size replica of the Embassy Club in London, perhaps the world’s best known night club, is to be seen, peopled by hundreds of gorgeously gowned women and immaculately groomed men. Pictorially, the film is in the tra¬ dition of former Samuel Goldwyn successes, always distinguished by the brilliant photography of George Barnes and Gregg Toland. RONALD COLMAN IN A SCENE-FROM "RAFFLES" 6—One Col. Scene (Mat 05c; Cut 30c) COLMAN REVEALS HIS REAL SELF IN FILMS Ronald Colman’s screen person¬ ality is a reflection of himself as he is in private life. Never one for flamboyant colors or flashy clothes, his friends know him to be quiet, retiring in manner and primarily concerned with his home and a few close friends. Tradition has painted the star of “Raffles” which comes to the .theatre on.. as being modest and reticent, and for once, fact has justified a belief. The conventional Colman garb of recent pictures has been sport or evening clothes. The uniforms and costumes in which he was attired prior to the advent of the talkers the star found quite unappealing. Rough tweeds, usually herring¬ bone, are his favorites for street wear in pictures. A white soft shirt with a plain black tie was the un¬ varying supplement to this appar¬ el. Hollywood neighbors know him best in plain sack suits of blue, sometimes worsted, serge or flannel, but four out of five days, blue. To go with this Colman generally se¬ lected a white shirt, but either a stiff white collar or more frequently a soft one. Here the black tie gives way to a striped one. Striped regi¬ mental colors and Scottish plaids come in for play because they are decorative and-quiet. SAMUEL GOLDWYN presents Ronald Colman in “Raffles” Adapted by SIDNEY HOWARD From the celebrated short stories of "The Amateur Cracksman” by E. W. Hornung UNITED ARTISTS PICTURE Art Directors—William Cameron Ass’t Director Menzies and Park French H. B. Humberstone S„u„J Technician ^ ,J£2*SS’k5. Tn.and Oscar Laserstron. T „h. Director Film Editor—Stuart Heisler Gerald Grove and John Howell THE CAST RAFFLES .Ronald Colman Gwen .Kay Francis Bunny.Bramwell Fletcher Ethel.Frances Dade McKenzie .David Torrence Lady Melrose.Alison Skipworth Lord Melrose.Frederick Kerr Crawshaw .John Rogers Barraclough.Wilson Benge THE STORY Crouched low over a safe in a silent jewelry shop late at night, a man in evening dress quickly manipulates the combination. The tumblers click, the safe swings open, a hand scoops up the glittering contents. Once more debonair Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman, has succeeded. At a well-known London club, young Bunny, one of Raffles’ most intimate friends, has just lost heavily at cards, lost much, much more than he can pay. Pale and drawn, he scribbles a check,—after all a gentleman must pay his debts of honor,—and leaves quickly. He goes at once to Raffles’ charming apartment, but Raffles is not there, and black, sick despair crushes young Bunny’s spirit. Raffles, meanwhile, is gay and happy, more joyous than he has ever been in his whole life, for fascinating Lady Gwen, who has come to mean more to him than anyone, has said she loves him and will marry him. The knowl¬ edge that his love is returned, that he must be worthy of it, brings Raffles to a firm resolve. Never again will he steal, the Amateur Cracksman has baffled the police for the last time, this will mark the beginning of a new and different life. When Raffles arrives home he is carefree and content, but his mood is quickly changed for Bunny, Bunny who is almost like a younger brother to him, has given in to his desperation and tried to kill himself. By great good fortune Raffles finds him before it is too late. Bunny rallies and stumblingly tells his pitiful story, the debt, the check, the lack of funds. Raffles listens and at last comes to a decision; he will get the money for Bunny, they must spend the week-end at the estate of Lord and Lady Mel¬ rose. Bunny knows no details, but Raffles is thinking of the marvelous diamond necklace which old Lady Melrose wears. Lord knows Raffles would like to square things for Bunny honestly, but he knows no honest means of getting so large a sum of money quickly enough. He has to put aside his resolutions until this one job is done, and then farewell to crime forever. Lady Melrose is fascinated by handsome Raffles, a simpering victim of his good looks and suave manner. Raffles smiles at her, for the more he is in her good graces, the easier his task will be. But two developments arise to complicate matters and to disturb Raffles. First, Lady Gwan arrives unexpectedly, her eyes shining with love for Raffles, who loathes the neces¬ sity of carryirig out his thieving plans. Then a sudden intrusion comes in the person of Inspector McKenzie of Scotland Yard. He has heard that burglars are planning to steal Lady Melrose’s diamonds, and he has come to warn and protect Lord Melrose. As a matter of fact, an underworld gang headed by one Crawshaw are scheming to rob Lady Melrose, and when Raffles hears this he determines to turn these gangsters to his advantage. He lies in wait for them, and when Crawshaw sneaks into Lady Melrose’s bedroom late that night and chloroforms her. Raffles holds up Crawshaw and takes the necklace away from the less adroit thief. Crawshaw rages but he is helpless, and has to be satisfied with trying to make his getaway without detection. Raffles now has the necklace, and he must go to London at once. As time goes on, Inspector McKenzie grows suspicious of him, particularly after Crawshaw is caught in the grounds and gives the impression of knowing more about Raffles than he will admit. Shrewd Inspector McKenzie decides to let both Raffles and Crawshaw go, though he plans secretly to have them shadowed in the hope of getting some proof of what he suspects. Now that Lady Gwen realizes that her lover is under suspicion, she fears for him, for she, too, has come to believe that he is guilty. She loves him no less, however, and she rushes to London immediately after Raffles to warn him of McKenzie. Raffles is deeply moved by her loyalty and her great love, and together they plan to hoodwink McKenzie and escape together. Before their plans are laid McKenzie arrives, pretending to have dropped in, though he is having the house watched in the hope that Craw¬ shaw will come in. And Crawshaw does, but Raffles is too smart for him, and manages to get rid of him by threatening that they will both be caught. He helps Crawshaw escape, and then has to face Lord Melrose, who comes in furiously. Now Raffles seems cornered, but he is not beaten yet. He returns Lady Melrose’s necklace and admits quite frankly to being the Amateur Cracksman. Lord Melrose is willing to hush the whole thing up to avoid scandal, but McKenzie is determined to make an arrest. Raffles has had a fleeting chance to assure Gwen he will escape and will await her in Paris, where she has promised to join him. So, practically under McKen¬ zie’s very eyes, he gets away through a secret opening in a grandfather’s clock in his rooms. Chuckling to himself, Raffles leaps into a taxi and is whirled away towards Victoria Station, towards a new life and romantic happiness with Gwen. Hollywood Modistes Have Everything Well Dressed Women Seek Kay Francis Declares Kay Francis, leading lady to Ronald Colman in his latest screen adventure, “Raffles” which comes to the.theatre on . qualifies as one of Hollywood’s best dressed women. No flunky of precedent, she buys all her clothes in the Los Angeles shops. Practically every other fe¬ male star patronizes the great mo¬ distes of New York and Paris. “Los Angeles clothes are designed for Los Angeles,” says Miss Fran¬ cis. “We have 300 days of sun¬ shine a year. New York and Pari: have 100.” And that is the logic of the young lady who believes doing her shopping at home. COLMAN PAID FOR HAVING GOOD TIME Star’s Latest Picture “Raffles” Enables Him to Indulge In Favorite Sports Ronald Colman reverts back to the pleasures of his childhood in Raffles ’ his newest talking picture which is to be shown at the .theatre on. As the famous “Amateur Cracks¬ man” in this melodramatic romance which scored sensational runs on the stage here and abroad, Mr. Col¬ man engages in two of his favorite sports. And Producer Samuel Gold¬ wyn has to pay him for it. Motoring and cricket are the sports concerned. “Raffles” is the first picture to show a big league cricket game in full swing for an extended sequence. Neither the two cricket coaches that Producer Samuel Goldwyn brought from England, nor the twenty odd experienced players that he gathered together in the picture colony to give the sequence authen¬ ticity, were of assistance to Ronald Colman. He didn’t need any. During his boyhood in England, Colman was a member of the Had¬ ley College Team, of Littlehampton, a junior championship combination that was well known in public school cricket. Later, he played in the Inter regimental League on the team that represented the London Scottish. Naturally he welcomed the op¬ portunity “Raffles” gave him of re¬ newing his hand at the famous game. Then Colman is an avid motorist. His garage frequently has as many as twelve cars at one time. In “Bulldog Drummond,” a motor car chase was used as effectively as galloping “villain-still-pursued-her” events of yore. In “Raffles,” Gold¬ wyn outdid himself in providing a motor car pursuit that has all the characteristics of a professional au¬ tomobile race. Colman refused to accept a double, even for the rehearsals. When the studio car, an imported Sunbeam, refused to be piloted the way Colman wanted it to, he brought out his own Daimler. Sam¬ uel Goldwyn is still wondering why there had to be six rehearsals for the scene. “There’s such a thing as a man finding too much pleasure in his work. Enough is enough,” Mr. Goldwyn said. RONALD COLMAN IN A SCENE FROM ''RAFFLES ' 1 5 —One Col. Scene (Mat 05c; Cut 30c)