THE CAFTAN WOMAN BLOGATHON – Honoring Patricia Nolan- Hall

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


Paul Lukas

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.

Paul Lukas, Katharine Hepburn


With Fay Wray.

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 Rosalind Russell .


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.


With Walter Huston and Ruth  Chatterton.

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….”

With Susan Hayward.




With Bette Davis. WATCH ON THE RHINE(1943).

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.

With Ethel Merman


With Ethel Merman, Irving Berlin and director George Abbott.



Do go to and to see all the other articles in the blogathon.

18 responses »

  1. I love these shots of Paul Lukas, who happens to be one of my favorites! Thanks so much for participating!

  2. Paul Lukas is wonderful and underrated. He was awesome in “Confessions of a Nazi Spy,” but my favorite so far is “20,000 Leagues.”

  3. Vienna,

    I remember Paddy’s Paul Lukas post as part of our 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon. I think she would love that you chose him in connection to her. I thoroughly enjoyed this retrospective and the fabulous images you chose.


    • Thank you, Aurora. It was sheer coincidence that I chose Paul Lukas and then discovered Paddy’s excellent post.
      Your contribution to the blogathon was oh so good – all these memorable quotes by Paddy. What a writer she was.

  4. Paddy always had the best taste and I’m sure she would love your shout out to an actor I am just getting to know a little better.

  5. Everyone should read Paddy’s post on Paul Lukas, an actor who did a variety of roles over a 30 year period.

  6. Thanks for this article on Lukas, Vienna. I saw ‘Deadline at Dawn’ seven or eight years ago before I was extremely familiar with classic Hollywood and knew who Paul Lukas was. I’ll need to re-visit it!

  7. I enjoyed your spotlight on Paul Lukas — I like him in Deadline at Dawn and Dodsworth, but I like him best in Downstairs, with John Gilbert and Virginia Bruce (all these “D” movies!). I think it’s his best role. I will have to check out some of the others you mentioned!

  8. I enjoy Paul Lukas whenever I see him so I will be on the lookout for these other films you’ve mentioned. I love Susan Hayward so I’m particularly looking forward to Deadline at Dawn! How interesting that Lukas was in Call Me Madam on Broadway! It would have been a very different film if he had made it over to the film adaptation. Thanks for the recommendations and the food for thought.

    • Hope you enjoy Deadline at Dawn. Great part for Susan.
      Yes, a pity Paul didn’t get to do the film version of Call Me Madam.

  9. A fine illustrated review of Paul Lukas’s career. I’ve seen him in many films – always an asset – including Deadline at Dawn, which was part of a film noir box set that came out a few years ago. Thanks for joining in to celebrate Paddy with a post she’d be sure to enjoy.

  10. Thank you. It’s great to see the tributes to Paddy. I’ve been looking at all her comments on my blog – always so appreciative.

  11. Paul Lukas was such a wonderful actor. I first encountered him in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and he never fails to impress. Anyway, I do miss Paddy so much. She was always so encouraging and so sunny and so positive. I know she would love this post.

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