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The Guardsman

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Story by  Ferenc Molnar
Country  United States
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Drama
Cinematography  Norbert Brodine
Language  English
The Guardsman movie poster

Director  Sidney FranklinHarold S. Bucquet (asst director)
Writer  Maxwell Anderson, Ernest Vajda
Release date  November 7, 1931
Directors  Sidney Franklin, Harold S. Bucquet
Producers  Irving Thalberg, Albert Lewin
Cast  Alfred Lunt (The Actor), Lynn Fontanne (The Actress), Roland Young (The Critic), ZaSu Pitts (Liesl), Maude Eburne ('Mama'), Herman Bing (A Creditor)
Similar movies  Salt, Charlie Wilson's War, Solaris, Trust Me, Middle Men, The Hunt for Red October

The guardsman original trailer

The Guardsman is a 1931 film based on the play Testőr by Ferenc Molnár. It stars Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Roland Young and ZaSu Pitts. It opens with a stage re-enactment of the final scene of Maxwell Anderson's Elizabeth the Queen, with Fontanne as Elizabeth and Lunt as the Earl of Essex, but otherwise has nothing to do with that play.


The Guardsman httpsimagesnasslimagesamazoncomimagesMM

The movie was adapted by Ernest Vajda (screenplay) and Claudine West (continuity) and was directed by Sidney Franklin.

Lunt and Fontanne were husband and wife and a celebrated stage acting team. This movie was based upon the roles they had played on Broadway in 1924 and it was their only starring film role together. They were nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role respectively.

Tcm 1931 best actress actor 3of5 the guardsman intro


The story revolves around a husband-and-wife acting team. Simply because he is insecure, the husband suspects his wife could be capable of infidelity. The husband disguises himself as a guardsman with a thick accent, woos his wife under his false identity, and ends up seducing her. The couple stays together, and at the end the wife tells the husband that she knew it was him, but played along with the deception.


  • Alfred Lunt - The Actor
  • Lynn Fontanne - The Actress
  • Roland Young - Bernhardt the Critic
  • ZaSu Pitts - Liesl, the Maid
  • Maude Eburne - Mama
  • Herman Bing - A Creditor
  • Remakes

  • In 1941, the plot was used for the film version of Oscar Straus's operetta The Chocolate Soldier, starring Risë Stevens and Nelson Eddy. The stage production had used the plot of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, but Shaw had been deeply offended and angered at the result. For the film MGM decided to use the plot of Molnar's The Guardsman instead, but they kept the stage score of The Chocolate Soldier. The film was a great success.
  • On March 2, 1955, a 60-minute version of the play was aired on the CBS Television series The Best of Broadway.
  • In 1984, a new non-musical version, entitled Lily in Love, starring Christopher Plummer and Maggie Smith, was made, but the play was so altered that the names of the characters were changed and Molnar was not even given screen credit. The film was a total flop.
  • References

    The Guardsman Wikipedia
    The Guardsman IMDb The Guardsman