Alexander Hamilton (film)

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Original title Alexander Hamilton
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1931
length 70 minutes
Director John G. Adolfi
script Maude T. Howell ,
Julien Josephson
production Warner Brothers
music David Mendoza
camera James Van Trees
cut Owen Marks

Alexander Hamilton is an American biopic about the American politician Alexander Hamilton with George Arliss in the lead role from 1931.


Alexander Hamilton , the first Treasury of the United States and one of the closest confidants of President George Washington . He vehemently advocates a strong central state and thus makes many enemies among the US senators and revolutionaries. While Hamilton proposes to settle the war debts through a centrally levied federal tax and wants to set up a central bank at the same time, Senators Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe are strictly against it. Both sides find an understanding on the matter. In return, Alexander Hamilton agrees to the plan to found the new capital Washington roughly in the middle of the states on the Potomac River .

The plot comes to a head when a senator arranges that Alexander Hamilton, whose wife Betsy is currently abroad for a long time, is seduced by the wife of a former employee of the national treasury. The matter leads to an attempt at blackmail against Alexander Hamilton. Betsy stands by him, however, and together they survive the scandal.


George Arliss , who began his stage career in 1887, already had a successful career in silent film behind him. With the advent of the sound film , most film studios were looking for suitable actors who could meet the requirements of the new medium and therefore hired a large number of theater actors. In 1928, at the age of 61, Arliss decided to take up a financially very lucrative offer of $ 100,000 for three Warner Brothers sound films . For Disraeli , he was awarded the Oscar for best actor at the 1930 Academy Awards (November) . As a significant and prestigious star for Warner Brothers, George Arliss was entitled to the addition of Mister to his first name in all of the studio's press releases and promotions. Only a few other stars, including John Barrymore , did the studio a comparable honor .

The adaptation of the successful play Alexander Hamilton (1917) by Mary Hamlin and George Arliss, which featured a few episodes from the life of the dazzling first Treasury Secretary of the United States, was one of those productions that should serve the reputation of society. As on stage, George Arliss took on the leading role, although at 62 he was already over twenty years older than Hamilton at the time of his death after a failed duel in 1804. In this respect, the scenes with young Doris Kenyon, who plays his wife, seem the real one Mrs. Hamilton was hardly younger than her husband - not very convincing. Alexander Hamilton was also considered to be extremely handsome in his time and he was said to have had countless affairs. It was directed by John G. Adolfi , one of Arliss' closest confidants and responsible for almost all of the star's films under his current contract.

Theatrical release

With a production cost of 562,000 US dollars, Alexander Hamilton was a comparatively expensive production for Warner Brothers. At the box office, the film proved to be unpopular and in the end it could boast total box office income of 586,000 US dollars.


The New York Times wrote very courteously about the film and its star:

"George Arliss celebrates another triumph with his interpretation of Alexander Hamilton [..] He gives a good, finely nuanced presentation."

Web links


  1. ^ Robert M. Fells: George Arliss: The Man Who Played God . P. 35.
  2. ^ Robert M. Fells: George Arliss: The Man Who Played God . P. 108.
  3. George Arliss wins another feather for his well-stocked cap by his impersonation of the title role in "Alexander Hamilton" [...] He gives a fine, sensitive portrayal.