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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Edward ArnoldEDWARD ARNOLD (1890–1956), born Gunther Edward Arnold Schneider was a stage, screen and television character actor that appeared in more than 150 films from 1919 to 1956. Because he was a burly man with a booming baritone voice, he was mostly cast as men with strong personalities, authority figures and heavies. The first film with Edward Arnold in the lead that I saw was The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941). I was nineteen and fortunate enough to see this film on the big screen. The U.C. Theater in Berkeley, California offered classic movies every night of the week. Sadly then, I didn't have the means to see that many films there. Now, I can only dream of one day living close enough to such a theater again. Having both seen and liked so many Edward Arnold films, it is hard to recommend as few as five. Hopefully however, you will see these and then others will follow, as they did me. Edward Arnold never fails to give a good performance. This is why he was never short of work and often made two films at once.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)Haven't you seen Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)? In this Frank Capra dramatic film starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold plays corrupt political boss Jim Taylor, one of the most awful villains ever to grace the screen.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Easy Living (1937) In one of my favorite screwball comedies directed by Mitchell Leisen, Edward Arnold plays the very likable J.B. Ball. Jean Arthur and Ray Milland also star in this delightful film.
You Can't Take It with You (1938) In this Frank Capra comedy starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, he plays Anthony P. Kirby, the father of Tony played James Stewart.
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) This is where my education of Edward Arnold began. In this story about a man that unwittingly sells his soul to the devil, Edward Arnold plays Daniel Webster, the greatest attorney of his day, who tries to get the man out of his contract with the devil. Many edited versions exist. Be sure to look for the 107 minute length restored version.
The Toast of New York (1937) In this American Biopic also starring Cary Grant and Frances Farmer, Edward Arnold plays financier James 'Jim' Fisk Jr. Here, he plays a character that money changes. Jim Fisk, Jr. goes from being a likable generous man to a selfish greedy madman.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Sun, May 22 2011 / 19:51:52 PDT