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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sir C. Aubrey SmithSIR C. AUBREY SMITH, born Charles Aubrey Smith, (1863-1948) is an English actor with big bushy eyebrows and a stoic face who began his career in films after the age of 50. He began with silent but became well known after the advent of talking pictures. If a movie role called for a tall stereotypical Englishman with a stiff upper lip and stern disposition, C. Aubrey Smith was cast. I learned first of his type of character seeing a cartoon character created in his likeness. Commander McBragg on the animated television show, "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales" (1963) was C. Aubrey Smith to a tee. C. Aubrey Smith was cast in 109 films dating from 1915 to 1949. He worked up until he died. He played men concerned with honor, tradition, and choosing the correct path. He shared the screen with many well-known stars, such as William Powell, Shirley Temple, Greta Garbo, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. He received the Order of the British Empire in 1938 and was knighted in 1944 for services to Anglo-American amity. He was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I enjoyed seeing him again and again in films suitable for the whole family. You may have seen him before in several films, but until now had never known his name. Now, you can look for him and appreciate his contribution to motion pictures.

And Then There Were NoneHaven't you seen And Then There Were None (1949)? He played General Sir John Mandrake in this great mystery about ten people invited to an island by a host who doesn't come to the little party. Then each guest is murdered one by one. They all suspect the murderer is one of the ten guests. But whom?

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Beyond Tomorrow (1940) He played Allan Chadwick, one of three ghosts that help a young couple that the three old gentlemen had met when alive.
Little Women (1949) He played Mr. Laurence. This was his last film. This story has been made several times and this is another great adaptation. It is very touching when Mr. Laurence gives Beth the piano.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) He played Earl of Dorincourt, Cedric's grandfather. Little Lord Fauntleroy is a wonderful children's classic that has been adapted for the screen at least seven times. This was the first version I had ever seen. Freddie Bartholomew plays Cedric, a boy who learns he is heir to a fortune, after his disinherited father dies.
Another Thin Man (1939) He played Colonel Burr MacFay. You can't go wrong with any of "The Thin Man" films.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve" Date: Mon, Mar 17, 2008 / 14:36:25 PST


  • Oh I just love C. Aubrey Smith! So glad he's in the spotlight!

    And I agree with you re: 'The Thin Man' series, I have the complete set and love to re-watch it from time to time.

    By Anonymous Christy Britain, at Mon Mar 24, 10:56:00 AM PDT