Topaze (RKO 1933, John Barrymore, Myrna Loy)


The great John Barrymore becomes a mousy teacher in winning comedy Topaze. After being discharged from his position due to meddling from chemical magnate Reginald Mason’s wife, he applies for a job at Mason’s bottled-water company. Barrymore throws himself into his work and develops a sparkling, healthy water that becomes a hit with the public.

When he discovers that Mason is selling tap water instead of his concoction, Barrymore finds the man’s man within and challenges the tycoon. He winds up with a share of the business and Mason’s mistress, Myrna Loy. Ben Hecht adapted Pagnol’s play for its first English-language screen version.

In addition to this version, there are four other screen adaptations of Marcel Pagnol’s 1928 French play about a hoodwinked inventor: two (1936, 1951) directed by Pagnol himself, the 1932 French original, and a 1961 British version, Mr. Topaze.

Cast: John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason

Director: Harry D’Arrast
Producer: David O. Selznick
Original Story: Marcel Pagnol
Director of Photography: Lucien M. Andriot
Editor: William Hamilton
Composer: Max Steiner
Screenwriters: Ben Hecht, Benn W. Levy
Art Director: Van Nest Polglase

USA / RKO / 78 minutes / 1933

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