"Disraeli" Is Released
Disraeli (1929) is a film that was adapted by Julien Josephson and De Leon Anthony from a play by Louis N. Parker.
The film was directed by Alfred E. Green.
The story is a highly fictionalized episode in the life of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and stars George Arliss, Doris Lloyd, David Torrence, Joan Bennett, and Florence Arliss. It revolves around the British plan to buy the Suez Canal and the efforts of two spies to stop it.
In the early days of sound film, one of Warner Bros.' big box-office draws was the aging stage actor George Arliss and, in Disraeli, Arliss scored his biggest box-office hit. He is at his best as the foxy British prime minister (in a role he created on-stage and re-created earlier in a 1921 silent film version of the same play). The film concerns the machinations of Disraeli in his efforts to secure the Suez Canal for England. After his liberal opponent Gladstone defeats Disraeli's attempt to raise a line of credit to buy the Suez Canal, Disraeli retires to his country estate to plot a new strategy. When he intercepts a coded telegram from an Egyptian potentate indicating Egyptian financial problems and a willingness to make a deal on the canal, Disraeli jumps on the chance to secure funding from the Bank of England but is denied the credit. Searching for another funding source, he obtains the services of international banker Hugh Meyers (Ivan Simpson). However, when Disraeli's emissary arrives in Cairo with a check to purchase Suez, it is discovered that Meyer has gone bankrupt. Now Disraeli must enlist all his charm and wiles to persuade the Bank of England to honor the bad check. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide