General Crack

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General Crack
Directed by Alan Crosland
Produced by Ned Marin
Written by J. Grubb Alexander
Walter Anthony
based on the novel by George R. Preedy
Starring John Barrymore
Philippe De Lacy
Lowell Sherman
Marian Nixon
Music by Rex Dunn
Cinematography Tony Gaudio (Technicolor)
Edited by Harold McLernon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • January 25, 1930 (1930-01-25)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English

General Crack (1930) is a part-talkie historical costume drama film with Technicolor sequences which was produced by Warner Bros., filmed in 1929 and released early in 1930. The film was directed by Alan Crosland and stars John Barrymore in his first full-length all-talking feature. This would prove to be Crosland and Barrymore's last historical epic together.[1]


The film takes place in the 18th century Austria and revolves around Prince Christian, commonly known as General Crack (John Barrymore). His father had been a respectable member of the nobility but his mother was a gypsy. General Crack, as a soldier of fortune, spent his adult life selling his services to the highest bidder. He espouses the doubtful cause of Leopold II of Austria (Lowell Sherman) after demanding the sister of the emperor in marriage as well as half of gold of the Empire. Before he has finished his work, however, he meets a gypsy dancer (Armida) and weds her. Complications arise when he takes his gypsy wife to the Austrian court and falls desperately in love with the emperor's sister (Marian Nixon). The court sequence was originally in Technicolor and proved to be Barrymore's last appearance in color.[2]


John Barrymore — Duke of Kurland / Prince Christian
Philippe De Lacy — Young Christian
Lowell Sherman — Leopold II
Marian Nixon — Archduchess Maria Luisa
Armida — Fidelia


The sound version of the film is lost. The silent version of this film (with Czech intertitles) survives but it does not have any of the original color sequences.[3][4] Although the complete soundtrack for the sound version survives on Vitaphone disks, the silent version was either a B negative or an alternate take with intertitles. So while this is a valid version, it does not match up with the Vitaphone soundtrack at all.

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