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Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1917)

Gentleman burglar Raffles tries to get his hand on a priceless pearl.

Director:

George Irving

Writers:

E.W. Hornung (stories), Anthony Paul Kelly (as Anthony B. Kelly) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Barrymore ... A.J. Raffles
Christine Mayo ... Mrs. Vidal
H. Cooper Cliffe H. Cooper Cliffe ... Lord Amersteth
Frank Morgan ... Bunny Manders
Dudley Hill Dudley Hill ... Crawley (as Dudley S. Hill)
Kathryn Adams ... Gwendolyn - Lord Amersteth's Ward
Evelyn Brent ... Ethel - Lord Amersteth's Daughter
Mathilde Brundage Mathilde Brundage ... Lady Melrose (as Mrs. Mathilde Brundage)
Mike Donlin ... Crawshay
Frederick Perry ... Capt. Bedford
Nita Allen ... Marie
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Storyline

Gentleman burglar Raffles tries to get his hand on a priceless pearl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1917 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Capt. Bedford: Well, I'm deucedly glad he
[Raffles]
Capt. Bedford: escaped. He's splendid!
See more »

Connections

Version of Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Morgan, Bad Barrymore!
30 January 2007 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

There are possibly many other silent films that are packed chock-a-block with even more sub-titles than the 1917 Raffles, but I'm glad to say I've not yet encountered them. This one contains nearly three hundred—an average of nearly five titles a minute. True, some of them consist of only a sentence or two, but most of them fill the whole screen. And such titles they are too! They're not the least bit funny, witty or comic. Just dull, wordy, prosaic—and often unnecessary. What's more, the editor makes little attempt to integrate the titles smoothly. Due to George Irving's shockingly bad direction, they jar, jar, jar! Irving also has not a clue in the world how to shoot close-ups so that they relate to the long and medium shots.

As usual, Barrymore overdoes the histrionics. A few of the other players, notably Mrs Brundage (and to a lesser extent, Miss Mayo) follow his lead, but the movie is saved by two outstandingly effective performances. Frank Morgan makes an excellent Bunny, and Frederick Perry (who was actually Hornung's choice to play the lead—a choice supported by Scribner, his American publisher) manages to overcome the creaky script to give a sympathetic yet quietly charismatic impression of an astute detective who is nobody's fool. Perry has the requisite presence and assurance. He quietly out-acts Barrymore at every turn.

Most of the other players are competent enough. It was good to see Kathryn Adams as Gwendolyn, but Evelyn Brent, who plays her friend, Ethel, virtually disappears from the movie as soon as she's introduced.

Aside from the opening ship-board Prologue, production values are minor. The script's settings are otherwise pretty much confined to the stage play.


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