Basil Sydney

Basil Sydney (23 April 1894 – 10 January 1968) was an English stage and screen actor. Sydney made his name in 1915 in the London stage hit Romance by Edward Sheldon, with Broadway star Doris Keane, and he costarred with Keane in the 1920 silent film of the play. The couple married in 1918, and when Keane revived Romance in New York City in 1921, Sydney made his Broadway debut in the parts. He stayed in New York for over a decade playing classical roles such as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (1922), Richard Dudgeon in The Devil's Disciple (1923), the title role in Hamlet (1923), Prince Hal in Henry IV, Part I (1926), and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew (1927).[citation needed] In 1937 he starred in the murder mystery Blondie White in the West End. He made over 50 screen appearances, most memorably as Claudius in Laurence Olivier's 1948 film of Hamlet. He also appeared in classic films like Treasure Island (1950), Ivanhoe (1952), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), but the focus of his career was the stage on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)

Based on the famous book by Jules Verne the movie follows Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world. Which has to be completed within 80 days, a very short period for those days.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Anderson
CAST:  David Niven  •  Finlay Currie  •  Robert Morley  •  Cantinflas

Based on the famous book by Jules Verne the movie follows Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world. Which has to be completed within 80 days, a very short period for those days.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Anderson
CAST:  David Niven  •  Finlay Currie  •  Robert Morley  •  Cantinflas

Hamlet (1948)

Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy. Olivier is at his most inspired—both as director and as the melancholy Dane himself—as ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurence Olivier
CAST:  Laurence Olivier  •  Jean Simmons  •  John Laurie  •  Esmond Knight

Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy. Olivier is at his most inspired—both as director and as the melancholy Dane himself—as ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Laurence Olivier
CAST:  Laurence Olivier  •  Jean Simmons  •  John Laurie  •  Esmond Knight

The Magic Box (1951)

Now old, ill, poor, and largely forgotten, William Freise-Greene was once very different. As young and handsome William Green he changed his name to include his first wife's so that it sounded more impressive for the photographic portrait work he was so good at. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Boulting
CAST:  Robert Donat  •  Margaret Johnston  •  Maria Schell  •  Richard Attenborough

Now old, ill, poor, and largely forgotten, William Freise-Greene was once very different. As young and handsome William Green he changed his name to include his first wife's so that it sounded more impressive for the photographic portrait work he was so good at. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Boulting
CAST:  Robert Donat  •  Margaret Johnston  •  Maria Schell  •  Richard Attenborough

Went the Day Well? (1942)

The quiet village of Bramley End is taken over by German troops posing as Royal Engineers. Their task is to disrupt England's radar network in preparation for a full scale German invasion. Once the villagers discover the true identity of the troops, they do ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alberto Cavalcanti
CAST:  Leslie Banks  •  Mervyn Johns  •  Marie Lohr  •  Basil Sydney

The quiet village of Bramley End is taken over by German troops posing as Royal Engineers. Their task is to disrupt England's radar network in preparation for a full scale German invasion. Once the villagers discover the true identity of the troops, they do ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alberto Cavalcanti
CAST:  Leslie Banks  •  Mervyn Johns  •  Marie Lohr  •  Basil Sydney

The Dam Busters (1955)

The story of the conception of a new British weapon for smashing the German dams in the Ruhr industrial complex and the execution of the raid by 617 Squadron 'The Dam Busters'.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Anderson
CAST:  Richard Todd  •  Michael Redgrave  •  Ursula Jeans  •  Robert Shaw

The story of the conception of a new British weapon for smashing the German dams in the Ruhr industrial complex and the execution of the raid by 617 Squadron 'The Dam Busters'.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Anderson
CAST:  Richard Todd  •  Michael Redgrave  •  Ursula Jeans  •  Robert Shaw

Island in the Sun (1957)

On a Caribbean island, a rich landowner's son, Maxwell Fleury, is fighting for political office against black labor leader David Boyeur. As if the contentious election weren't enough, there are plenty of scandals to go around: Boyeur has a secret white lover and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Rossen
CAST:  James Mason  •  Joan Fontaine  •  Dorothy Dandridge  •  Joan Collins

On a Caribbean island, a rich landowner's son, Maxwell Fleury, is fighting for political office against black labor leader David Boyeur. As if the contentious election weren't enough, there are plenty of scandals to go around: Boyeur has a secret white lover and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Robert Rossen
CAST:  James Mason  •  Joan Fontaine  •  Dorothy Dandridge  •  Joan Collins

Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

The aging Caesar finds himself intrigued by the young Egyptian queen. Adapted by George Bernard Shaw from his own play.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gabriel Pascal
CAST:  Claude Rains  •  Vivien Leigh  •  Stewart Granger  •  Flora Robson

The aging Caesar finds himself intrigued by the young Egyptian queen. Adapted by George Bernard Shaw from his own play.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gabriel Pascal
CAST:  Claude Rains  •  Vivien Leigh  •  Stewart Granger  •  Flora Robson

The Black Sheep of Whitehall (1942)

A professor teaching at a correspondence school discovers that a Nazi agent is trying to prevent a trade treaty being signed between England and South America.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Basil Dearden  •  Will Hay
CAST:  Will Hay  •  John Mills  •  Basil Sydney  •  Felix Aylmer

A professor teaching at a correspondence school discovers that a Nazi agent is trying to prevent a trade treaty being signed between England and South America.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Basil Dearden  •  Will Hay
CAST:  Will Hay  •  John Mills  •  Basil Sydney  •  Felix Aylmer

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

Doctor Gulliver is poor, so nothing - not even his charming fiancée Elisabeth - keeps him in the town he lives. He signs on to a ship to India, but in a storm he's washed off the ship and ends up on an island, which is inhibitated by very tiny people. After he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jack Sher
CAST:  Kerwin Mathews  •  June Thorburn  •  Jo Morrow  •  Lee Patterson

Doctor Gulliver is poor, so nothing - not even his charming fiancée Elisabeth - keeps him in the town he lives. He signs on to a ship to India, but in a storm he's washed off the ship and ends up on an island, which is inhibitated by very tiny people. After he ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jack Sher
CAST:  Kerwin Mathews  •  June Thorburn  •  Jo Morrow  •  Lee Patterson

Jassy (1947)

In 19th century England, Jassy is a young Gypsy girl blessed with the gift of second sight. Pursued by superstitious villagers, she is rescued by the son of the owner of Mordelaine, a vast stately home. Unfortunately, his father's drinking and gambling threaten the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bernard Knowles
CAST:  Margaret Lockwood  •  Patricia Roc  •  Dennis Price  •  Basil Sydney

In 19th century England, Jassy is a young Gypsy girl blessed with the gift of second sight. Pursued by superstitious villagers, she is rescued by the son of the owner of Mordelaine, a vast stately home. Unfortunately, his father's drinking and gambling threaten the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bernard Knowles
CAST:  Margaret Lockwood  •  Patricia Roc  •  Dennis Price  •  Basil Sydney

Spring Meeting (1941)

Tiny Fox-Collier and her son, Tony, are broke. A cheery and handsome young man about town, Tony knows he can rely on his mother for a brainwave to save them from utter destitution. This she has: a visit is scheduled to the Irish country estate of her old flame Sir ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Norman Lee  •  Walter C. Mycroft
CAST:  Enid Stamp-Taylor  •  Michael Wilding  •  Basil Sydney  •  Sarah Churchill

Tiny Fox-Collier and her son, Tony, are broke. A cheery and handsome young man about town, Tony knows he can rely on his mother for a brainwave to save them from utter destitution. This she has: a visit is scheduled to the Irish country estate of her old flame Sir ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Norman Lee  •  Walter C. Mycroft
CAST:  Enid Stamp-Taylor  •  Michael Wilding  •  Basil Sydney  •  Sarah Churchill

Ships with Wings (1941)

Before the war, a Fleet Air Arm pilot is dismissed for causing the death of a colleague. Working for a small Greek airline when the Germans invade Greece, he gets a chance to redeem himself and rejoin his old unit on a British carrier. This is regarded the last of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Sergei Nolbandov
CAST:  John Clements  •  Leslie Banks  •  Jane Baxter  •  Ann Todd

Before the war, a Fleet Air Arm pilot is dismissed for causing the death of a colleague. Working for a small Greek airline when the Germans invade Greece, he gets a chance to redeem himself and rejoin his old unit on a British carrier. This is regarded the last of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Sergei Nolbandov
CAST:  John Clements  •  Leslie Banks  •  Jane Baxter  •  Ann Todd

The Four Just Men (1939)

The Four Men of the title are British WWI veterans who decide to work secretly against enemies of the country. They aren't above a bit of murder or sabotage to serve their ends, but they consider themselves to be true patriots.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Walter Forde
CAST:  Hugh Sinclair  •  Griffith Jones  •  Francis L. Sullivan  •  Frank Lawton

The Four Men of the title are British WWI veterans who decide to work secretly against enemies of the country. They aren't above a bit of murder or sabotage to serve their ends, but they consider themselves to be true patriots.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Walter Forde
CAST:  Hugh Sinclair  •  Griffith Jones  •  Francis L. Sullivan  •  Frank Lawton

The Angel with the Trumpet (1950)

Sad tale of a woman who marries the man her family wishes her to wed, not Wooland, the man she truly loves. Years after her lover's suicide, Herlie joins him before the Gestapo can get to her because of her Jewish ancestry.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Anthony Bushell
CAST:  Eileen Herlie  •  Basil Sydney  •  Norman Wooland  •  Maria Schell

Sad tale of a woman who marries the man her family wishes her to wed, not Wooland, the man she truly loves. Years after her lover's suicide, Herlie joins him before the Gestapo can get to her because of her Jewish ancestry.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Anthony Bushell
CAST:  Eileen Herlie  •  Basil Sydney  •  Norman Wooland  •  Maria Schell

A Story of David (1960)

Directed by Bob McNaught. King Saul of Israel is jealous of the fame and adoration of David, who long ago slew Goliath and brought victory to Saul's armies. Now Saul, egged on by his Edomite counselor Doeg, attempts to have David killed. Saul's son, and David's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bob McNaught
CAST:  Jeff Chandler  •  Basil Sydney  •  Peter Arne  •  Barbara Shelley

Directed by Bob McNaught. King Saul of Israel is jealous of the fame and adoration of David, who long ago slew Goliath and brought victory to Saul's armies. Now Saul, egged on by his Edomite counselor Doeg, attempts to have David killed. Saul's son, and David's ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Bob McNaught
CAST:  Jeff Chandler  •  Basil Sydney  •  Peter Arne  •  Barbara Shelley

The Hands of Orlac (1960)

The oft-filmed Maurice Renard novel Hands of Orlac was given another cinematic go-round in this Franco-British production. Famed concert pianist Stephen Orlac (Mel Ferrer) survives a plane crash, but his hands are permanently destroyed. Helpful surgeon Volcheff ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Edmond T. Gréville
CAST:  Mel Ferrer  •  Christopher Lee  •  Dany Carrel  •  Lucile Saint-Simon

The oft-filmed Maurice Renard novel Hands of Orlac was given another cinematic go-round in this Franco-British production. Famed concert pianist Stephen Orlac (Mel Ferrer) survives a plane crash, but his hands are permanently destroyed. Helpful surgeon Volcheff ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Edmond T. Gréville
CAST:  Mel Ferrer  •  Christopher Lee  •  Dany Carrel  •  Lucile Saint-Simon

The Amateur Gentleman (1936)

A former boxing champion, now an innkeeper, is accused of stealing a watch from a party of guests at his inn, who happen to be members of English royalty. The old man is arrested and thrown in prison. His son, knowing that his father didn't steal the watch and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Thornton Freeland
CAST:  Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  •  Elissa Landi  •  Gordon Harker  •  Basil Sydney

A former boxing champion, now an innkeeper, is accused of stealing a watch from a party of guests at his inn, who happen to be members of English royalty. The old man is arrested and thrown in prison. His son, knowing that his father didn't steal the watch and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Thornton Freeland
CAST:  Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  •  Elissa Landi  •  Gordon Harker  •  Basil Sydney

The Farmer's Wife (1941)

Eden Philpotts' "provincial" comic novel and play The Farmer's Wife was first filmed in the silent era by Alfred Hitchcock. The 1940 talkie version was directed by Leslie Arliss, son of stage star George Arliss. The story remained the same: A middle-aged widower ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leslie Arliss  •  Norman Lee
CAST:  Basil Sydney  •  Wilfrid Lawson  •  Nora Swinburne  •  Patricia Roc

Eden Philpotts' "provincial" comic novel and play The Farmer's Wife was first filmed in the silent era by Alfred Hitchcock. The 1940 talkie version was directed by Leslie Arliss, son of stage star George Arliss. The story remained the same: A middle-aged widower ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leslie Arliss  •  Norman Lee
CAST:  Basil Sydney  •  Wilfrid Lawson  •  Nora Swinburne  •  Patricia Roc

The Midshipmaid (1932)

The Midshipmaid is a 1932 British comedy film directed by Albert de Courville and starring Jessie Matthews, Frederick Kerr, Basil Sydney and Nigel Bruce.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Albert de Courville
CAST:  Jessie Matthews  •  Frederick Kerr  •  Basil Sydney  •  A.W. Baskcomb

The Midshipmaid is a 1932 British comedy film directed by Albert de Courville and starring Jessie Matthews, Frederick Kerr, Basil Sydney and Nigel Bruce.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Albert de Courville
CAST:  Jessie Matthews  •  Frederick Kerr  •  Basil Sydney  •  A.W. Baskcomb

The Third Clue (1934)

Set in an Old Dark House, a man is murdered in his study. With his dying breath, he tells his brother of two clues to finding hidden Eastern Indian jewels that were part of a precious idol. He wants his brother to locate the treasure, so that it can be given to his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Albert Parker
CAST:  Basil Sydney  •  Molly Lamont  •  Robert Cochran  •  C.M. Hallard

Set in an Old Dark House, a man is murdered in his study. With his dying breath, he tells his brother of two clues to finding hidden Eastern Indian jewels that were part of a precious idol. He wants his brother to locate the treasure, so that it can be given to his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Albert Parker
CAST:  Basil Sydney  •  Molly Lamont  •  Robert Cochran  •  C.M. Hallard
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