Rahul Sharma (Editor)

A Gentleman from Mississippi

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Place premiered  Bijou Theatre
Subject  Political corruption
Originally published  1909
Original language  English
Genre  Comedy
Playwright  Thomas A. Wise
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Written by  Harrison Rhodes and Thomas A. Wise
Date premiered  28 September 1908 (Broadway)

A Gentleman from Mississippi is a 1908 comedic play by Harrison Rhodes and Thomas A. Wise. It was popular when released, debuting on Broadway on September 28, 1908, and playing for 407 performances at the Bijou Theatre, and on the roof garden of the New Amsterdam Theatre during the summer of 1909. Douglas Fairbanks played the leading role of Bud Haines.


Receiving positive reviews from the critics, it was produced by William A. Brady and Joseph R. Grismer, and was one of the "major hits of its day." U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt saw the play shortly before its Broadway debut at a Washington warm-up performance at the National Theatre, and proclaimed it a "perfectly corking play. Bully! A ripper!" Roosevelt's successor, William Howard Taft, also later saw and approved of the play, and was featured in some of the play's advertising.

It was adapted into a novel based on the play's success, and the play traveled widely after closing on Broadway, where actor Burr McIntosh returned from the stage after a long break to take over for Wise.

The play was also made into a silent film in 1914, where Wise reprised his role, and a young Evelyn Brent was also in the cast. A plan to make another film based on the play in 1936 was never completed.

Harrison and Rhodes also collaborated on a second play, An Old New Yorker (1911).


The play's setting is Washington, D.C., where corrupt Senators are attempting to profit off a planned naval base in Mississippi. The junior Senator of Mississippi, William Langdon (played by Wise), decides to fight the scheme, assisted by his private secretary Bud Haines (played by Fairbanks).

Original Broadway cast

  • William A. Langdon ... Thomas A. Wise
  • Horatio Peabody ... W.J. Brady
  • James Stevens ... Hal De Forrest
  • Charles Norton ... Ernest Baxter
  • Randolph Langdon ... Stanhope Wheatcroft
  • "Bud" Haines ... Douglas Fairbanks
  • Dick Cullen ... Harry Stubbs
  • Colonel Beverly Stoneman ... Frederick Bock
  • Clerk at International Hotel ... E.H. Bender
  • Colonel J.D. Telfer ... Charles Chappelle
  • Signore Caracioli ... M.W. Rale
  • A Bridegroom ... Donald Mackintire
  • A Porter ... Henry Gibson
  • A Bellboy ... Charles Johnson
  • Carolina Langdon ... Harriet Worthington
  • Hope Georgia Langdon ... Lola May
  • Amelia Butterworth ... Agnes De Lane
  • Mme. Des Aretins .. Karen Nielsen
  • A Bride ... Sallie Livingston
  • References

    A Gentleman from Mississippi Wikipedia

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