A pleasure to take part in this blogathon to honor the late Patricia Nolan- Hall, a fine writer who loved classic film blogging. Known as Paddy Lee, her blog can be viewed at http://www.caftanwoman.com
I had recently seen a photo of Paul Lukas from the Irving Berlin Broadway musical, CALL ME MADAM . An actor who had won an Oscar for WATCH ON THE RHINE – and he had starred in one of my favourite films, DEADLINE AT DAWN.
Sufficient reason to look at Paul’s career and then I discovered that Paddy Lee had featured him back in 2015 in an excellent article.
Hungarian born Paul Lukas (1895-1971) came to Hollywood in 1927, and quickly established himself in movies.
He was the gentle ‘Professor Baer’ opposite Katharine Hepburn in LITTLE WOMEN.
One of Paul’s films I’ve yet to see is THE COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) – nothing to do with the Dumas story, but looks fun.
Paul was kept very busy in the 30s and 40s. He was “Athos” in THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1935). He played Philo Vance opposite Rosalind Russell. In THE CASINO MURDER CASE (1935) . A continental Philo didn’t seem quite right – I preferred William Powell.
With Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood in THE LADY VANISHES.
Hitchock called for Paul to be the villain in THE LADY VANISHES who tries to convince Margaret Lockwood that Miss Froy never existed – as if we could forget Dame May Whitty.
Paul supported Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton in DODSWORTH.
I love DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946), with Paul as a New York cabbie who helps dance Hall girl Susan Hayward and sailor Bill Williams find out who killed Lola Lane. A great supporting cast including Joseph Calleia, Osa Massen, Jerome Cowan, Marvin Miller.
This film just oozes atmosphere, taking place between midnight and dawn. Paul is an unusual cab driver, always philosophising and quoting “Statistics tell us….”
Having created the role on Broadway of the anti-Nazi activist, Paul then made the film version of WATCH ON THE RHINE with Bette Davis as his wife. And he won the Best Actor Oscar.
Paul with his Oscar alongside Jennifer Jones , Katina Paxinou and Charles Coburn.
Other Lukas films:
As well as a varied film career, Paul was active on stage and displayed a nice singing voice in Broadway’s CALL ME MADAM in 1950. When it came to the film version, he was replaced by George Sanders.