Sir Charles Aubrey Smith, CBE (21 July 1863 – 20 December 1948) was an English Test cricketer who became a stage and film actor, acquiring a niche as the officer-and-gentleman type, as in the first sound version of The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). In Hollywood, he organised British actors into a cricket team, much intriguing local spectators.
As a cricketer, Smith was primarily a right arm fast bowler, though he was also a useful right-hand lower-order batsman and a good slip fielder. His oddly curved bowling run-up, which started from deep mid-off, earned him the nickname "Round the Corner Smith". When he bowled round the wicket his approach was concealed from the batsman by the umpire until he emerged, leading W. G. Grace to comment "it is rather startling when he suddenly appears at the bowling crease." He played for Cambridge University (1882–85) and for Sussex at various times from 1882 to 1892. While in South Africa he captained the Johannesburg English XI. He captained England to victory in his only Test match, against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1888–89, taking five wickets for nineteen runs in the first innings. The English team who played were by no means representative of the best players of the time and nobody at the time realised that the match would enter the cricket records as an official Test match. In 1932, he founded the Hollywood Cricket Club and created a pitch with imported English grass. He attracted fellow expatriates such as David Niven, Laurence Olivier, Nigel Bruce (who served as captain), Leslie Howard and Boris Karloff to the club as well as local American players. Smith's stereotypical Englishness spawned several amusing anecdotes: while fielding at slip for the Hollywood Club, he dropped a difficult catch and ordered his English butler to fetch his spectacles; they were brought on to the field on a silver platter. The next ball looped gently to slip, to present the kind of catch that "a child would take at midnight with no moon." Smith dropped it and, snatching off his lenses, commented, "Damned fool brought my reading glasses." Decades after his cricket career had ended, when he had long been a famous face in films, Smith was spotted in the pavilion on a visit to Lord's. "That man over there seems familiar", remarked one member to another. "Yes", said the second, seemingly oblivious to his Hollywood fame, "Chap called Smith. Used to play for Sussex."
Smith was born in London, England, to Charles John Smith (1838–1928), a medical doctor, and Sarah Ann (née Clode, 1836–1922). His sister, Beryl Faber (died 1912), was married to Cosmo Hamilton. Smith was educated at Charterhouse School and St John's College, Cambridge. He settled in South Africa to prospect for gold in 1888–89. While there he developed pneumonia and was wrongly pronounced dead by doctors. He married Isabella Wood in 1896.
Movies & TV shows
A look at actresses who starred in films with thought-provoking subjects made between 1930 and July 1934, before the Hollywood Production Code —the infamous Hays Code— was enforced.
Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at hom...
Love and adventure on the Matterhorn mountain.
An Ideal Husband
A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's past if he ...
England, 1763. After being convicted of a crime, the young and beautiful Abigail Hale agrees, to escape the gallows, to serve fourteen years as a slave in the colony of Virginia, whose inhabitants beg...
Terror by Night
Holmes and Watson board a passenger train bound from London to Edinburgh, to guard the Star of Rhodesia, an enormous diamond worth a fortune belonging to an elderly woman of wealth; but within the fir...
Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate..
Rendezvous with Annie
A homesick American soldier stationed in England during World War II makes an unauthorized trip to see his wife and returns to England with only two people knowing he was home for a few hours. When s...
Scotland Yard Investigator
A London curator loses the Mona Lisa to a collector, who discovers it's a fake.
And Then There Were None
Ten strangers are summoned to a remote island and while they are waiting for the mysterious host to appear, a recording levels serious accusations at each of the guests. Soon they start being murdered...
A young woman who has been stricken with infantile paralysis gives up hope and is trying to "will herself" to die. A doctor who has been conducting experiments with patients with paralyzed nerves is c...
The White Cliffs of Dover
Susan and her father are going to England for a vacation. Susan met Sir John Ashwood at a society ball and fell in love with him immediately. As a new member of the British gentry, American Susan neve...
The Adventures of Mark Twain
A dramatised life of Samuel Langhorn Clemens, or Mark Twain.
Secrets of Scotland Yard
Secrets of Scotland Yard is Republic's spin on a plotline first elucidated in the old E. Phillips Oppenheim novel The Great Impersonation. After losing WW I, the German high command, with remarkable f...
Sensations of 1945
As dancer Ginny Walker performs on stage, a veiled woman in the audience stands up, accuses Ginny of stealing her husband and then fires a gun at her. After Ginny collapses and is taken to her dressin...
Flesh and Fantasy
Three tales of the supernatural are contained in the film. The first story takes place at the New Orleans Carnival. A psychic is involved in the second case. The third is about a man who is in love wi...
Forever and a Day
Gates Trimble Pomfret, an American, was in London during the World War II to sell his ancestral family house. The current tenant tried to convince the seller to stay by telling him about the 140-year ...
Poor physics student Marie is studying at the Sorbonne in 1890s Paris. One of the few women studying in her field, Marie encounters skepticism concerning her abilities, but is eventually offered a res...
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll believes good and evil exist in everyone and creates a potion that allows his evil side, Mr. Hyde, to come to the fore. He faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run amok.
Maisie Was a Lady
Showgirl Maisie Ravier finds herself once again out of work. She meets a wealthy playboy who hires her to be his family's new maid. Maisie soon finds herself trying to mend the family's many problems....
Free and Easy
This brief (56-minute) MGM B-picture was adapted from Ivor Novello's play The Truth Game. Max and Florian Clemington (Robert Cummings and Nigel Bruce), pretend to be members of the landed gentry. Max ...
The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.
A Bill of Divorcement
Father's return from the insane asylum spells calamity for the Fairfield family.
On the eve of World War II, a British officer revisits Waterloo Bridge and recalls the young man he was at the beginning of World War I and the young ballerina he met just before he left for the front...
A Little Bit of Heaven
A child from the New York tenements sings on a radio quiz show and is eventually hired to a big-bucks contract, which allows her and her family to move into a posh apartment, with all the usual proble...
The story of a young woman who married a fascinating widower, only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously several years earlier. The wife needs...
City of Chance
Texas girl goes to New York, becomes a newspaper reporter, and tries to get her gambler boyfriend to come home.
A Russian prince disguised as a worker and a cafe singer secretly involved in revolutionary activities fall in love.
East Side of Heaven
A man finds himself the father, by proxy, of a ten-month-old baby and becomes involved in the turbulent lives of the child's family.
Five Came Back
Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited b...
Anita, engaged to solid Don Barnes, is swept off her feet by magician Arturo. Before you can say presto, she's his wife and stage assistant on a lengthy world tour. But Anita is annoyed by Arturo's co...
Another Thin Man
Not even the joys of parenthood can stop married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles from investigating a murder on a Long Island estate.
The Sun Never Sets
The Randolph family have a tradition of working in the British colonial service. Clive comes home from a mission in the Gold Coast of Africa accompanied by his wife Helen. He discovers his younger bro...
A young city girl from a poor family is invited to spend the summer at a camp for girls from wealthy families. At first made fun of and ridiculed because of her background, she determines to show the ...
The Four Feathers
A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle.
Four Men and a Prayer
The sons of a disgraced British officer try to clear his name.
Robert Louis Stevenson's hero David Balfour (Freddie Bartholomew) joins rebel Alan Breck Stewart (Warner Baxter) in 18th-century Scotland.
Sixty Glorious Years
Continuing the story of 'Victoria the Great'.
The Prisoner of Zenda
An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped.
Victoria the Great
The film biography of Queen Victoria focussing initially on the early years of her reign with her marriage to Prince Albert and her subsequent rule after Albert's death in 1861.
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
Cricket West is a hopeful actress with a plan and a couple of vocal cords that bring down the house. Along with her aunt, she hosts the local jockeys, who have a leader who is highly skilled and well-...
In the colonial era, island native Terangi (Jon Hall) spends a blissful honeymoon with his bride, Marama (Dorothy Lamour). Soon after, however, their relationship is torn asunder when Terangi is sent ...
Wee Willie Winkie
In 1897, little Priscilla Williams, along with her widowed mother, goes to live with her army colonel paternal grandfather on the British outpost he commands in northern India.
The Garden of Allah
The star-crossed desert romance of a cloistered woman and a renegade monk.
Romeo and Juliet
Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.
Little Lord Fauntleroy
An American boy becomes the heir of a wealthy British earl. He was sent to live with his grandfather, who was an angry and unsentimental person.
Lloyd's of London
Norfolk, England, 1770. The nephew of an innkeeper and the son of a reverend maintain a very close friendship until, after living a great adventure, they must separate their paths. The former will hea...
Clive of India
Fort St. David, Cuddalore, southern India, 1748. While colonial empires battle to seize an enormous territory, rich in spices and precious metals beyond the wildest dreams, and try to gain the favor o...
Captain Alan Gaskell sails the perilous waters between Hong Kong and Singapore with a secret cargo: a fortune in British gold. That's not the only risky cargo he carries; both his fiery mistress and h...
Things You Never See on the Screen
Collection of Warner's stars blundering through missed takes.
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
In the Northwest Frontier of India, the 41st Bengal Lancers leaded by the harsh Colonel Tom Stone are having trouble with the rebellious leader Mohammed Khan. After two casualties, the experienced but...
The Florentine Dagger
A playwright descended from the Borgias becomes a murder suspect.
A young poet, accompanied by his new bride, returns home to his large family at their Canadian farm.
The Gilded Lily
Secretary Marilyn "Lynn" David falls in love with British aristocrat Charles Gray Granville, to the dismay of her best friend, reporter Pete Dawes, who secretly loves her. When Pete learns that the al...
The Right to Live
A man (Colin Clive) with a broken back dies after his wife (Josephine Hutchinson) has an affair with his brother (George Brent).
An engineer leads the building of a trans-Atlantic tunnel linking Britain and the United States.
Hollywood Extra Girl
Semi-documentary of a typical "extra girl" on a C.B.DeMille film.
King Richard the Lionhearted launches a crusade to preserve Christianity in Jerusalem.
Mike Lee's syndicate runs all the gambling joints in town and is least profitable. Lady Lee is the only way she knows to make a living, because her father Mike walked out under pressure to allow cheat...
Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.
We Live Again
Nekhludoff, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for reducing her to...
One More River
A young lady leaves her brutal husband and meets another man on board a ship.
The Scarlet Empress
During the 18th century, German noblewoman Sophia Frederica, who would later become Catherine the Great, travels to Moscow to marry the dimwitted Grand Duke Peter, the heir to the Russian throne. Thei...
Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back
Dashing British sleuth Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond finds himself immersed in another adventure when he stumbles upon a corpse in the mysterious London mansion of Prince Achmed. Enlisting the help ...
Prohibited from seeing her actor sweetheart Herman Brandt (Ricardo Cortez) by her tyrannical parents, sweet young Vienesse lass Mariette (Anita Louise) defies authority by regularly visiting Brandt's ...
A countess marries a Gypsy fiddler instead of a baron's son at harvest time in Tokay wine country, Hungary.
The House of Rothschild
The story of the rise and fall of the Rothschild financial empire was told by his five sons. Even though the business grows and helps to finance the war against Napoleon, it is not always easy because...
The queen of Egypt barges the Nile and flirts with Mark Antony and Julius Caesar.
They Just Had to Get Married
Molly Hull, a maid, and Sam Sutton, a butler, are bequeathed a million dollars, and they encounter many problems and difficulties as they try to become the newest members of the idle rich.
Wildly optimistic chatterbox Eva Lovelace is a would-be actress trying to crash the New York stage. She attracts the interest of a paternal actor, a philandering producer, and an earnest playwright. I...
Rebellious Princess Marie "Mitzi" Christine must try to marry the man she loves, instead of the stuffy old prince her parents want her to marry.
The Monkey's Paw
A mother wishes for the return of her dead son--a wish that is granted by the severed paw of a dead monkey.
Curtain at Eight
An elderly detective sets out to find who murdered a stage actor.
A glamorous film star rebels against the studio, her pushy press agent and a family of hangers-on.
This drama offers a few slices from the lives of those who live, work, and travel upon a luxurious trans-atlantic ocean liner.
In the 1860s, Mary Marlowe defies her father's wishes to marry a British lord and runs away with clerk John Carlton as he heads West to make his fortune. Mary and John endure the difficult journey and...
An Arab prince masquerades as a tour guide for rich women in order to enrich himself.
No More Orchids
Despite loving another man, a young woman is talked into marrying a wealthy and boorish prince in order to help her financially-strapped father.
Tarzan the Ape Man
James and Harry are looking for elephant burial grounds in Africa that will provide enough ivory to make them wealthy. Jane arrives unexpectedly to join her mother. Jane is frightened when Tarzan and ...
Polly of the Circus
When Polly Fisher, a circus aerialist, is hurt while performing, she is taken to the house of a nearby minister. As she recuperates, they fall in love with each other and secretly marry. When the trut...
But the Flesh Is Weak
A poor-but-charming father (C. Aubrey Smith) and son (Robert Montgomery) try to enter high society by marrying rich English widows.
Love Me Tonight
A Parisian tailor falls in love with a young princess after pretending to be a baron in order to get a large bill from an older person.
Trouble in Paradise
The two partners in crime are a thief and a pickpocket. Two crooks working for a perfume company decided to combine their criminal talents to rob their employer. Under the guise of Monsieur Laval, Gas...
The Phantom of Paris
Chéri-Bibi is a world class escape artist, but he cannot escape the false murder charge that is placed on him.
While on a trip to Africa, Trader Horn and Peru find a missionary killed by natives. They decided to keep going on their quest for her daughter. They try to bring her back to civilization after findin...
The Bachelor Father
Lonely in his English country estate, Sir Basil decides to gather his grown (albeit illegitimate) children around him in his declining years. He uses a ledger which keeps track of the payments he has ...
Just a Gigolo
A playboy pretends to be a paid escort in order to court--and test the moral character of--a young British socialite. Comedy.
An Austrian soldier must choose between a wealthy fiancee and a new girl who takes his fancy.
Story of French prisoner in Germany who falls in love with a German general's daughter. From the novel "Axelle" by Pierre Benoit.
The Man in Possession
A deeply in debt heiress tries to land a rich man while a collector from the Sheriff's office is guarding the assets in her house.
Never the Twain Shall Meet
Dan works for Pritchard and Pritchard out of San Francisco and is in love with Maisie, referred to as "the icebox" by his news reporter friend. As one of his ships returns to San Francisco, Dan learns...
Son of India
An Indian jewel merchant goes from penniless to wealthy in this story about gratitude.
Richard Grant is a lawyer who believes that murder under certain circumstances is justifiable. Richard's daughter, Barbara, takes her dad to a dinner party hosted by Richard's old friend, wealthy play...
A bored society woman invites scandal and heartache when she falls in love with her low-born chauffeur.
Birds of Prey
At a reception given by Arthur Hilton at his Sussex home the conversation turns to the subject of danger, with Hilton recalling a case in which he was involved as a Natal police commissioner. In it th...
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