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Calthrop, Donald (1888-1940)


Main image of Calthrop, Donald (1888-1940)

In a native industry noted for its character actors, Donald Calthrop stands out as one of the best in the late 20s and 30s.

He was a visual performer, who, with his body language, could easily define a role, whether the bullying blackmailer in Blackmail (d. Alfred Hitchcock, 1929), the double-crossing Poole in Rome Express (d. Walter Forde, 1933), Bob Cratchit in Scrooge (d. Henry Edwards, 1935), or the genteel and redundant worker in Major Barbara (d. Gabriel Pascal, 1941), a role completed the day before he died.

A grandson of Dion Boucicault, Calthrop made his stage debut in 1906 and his screen debut ten years later; in real life he became a tragic hero, losing his two eldest sons at Dunkirk.

Anthony Slide, Encyclopedia of British Cinema

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Thumbnail image of Blackmail (1929)Blackmail (1929)

Hitchcock thriller that was the first feature-length British sound film

Thumbnail image of Broken Blossoms (1936)Broken Blossoms (1936)

A Chinese immigrant finds love in the slums of London's East End

Thumbnail image of Friday the Thirteenth (1933)Friday the Thirteenth (1933)

Drama about the lives of various people involved in a bus crash

Thumbnail image of Industrial Britain (1931)Industrial Britain (1931)

Classic documentary record of British industry at its peak

Thumbnail image of Let George Do It! (1940)Let George Do It! (1940)

George Formby comedy that doubles as anti-Nazi propaganda

Thumbnail image of Man Who Changed His Mind, The (1936)Man Who Changed His Mind, The (1936)

Wonderful early 'mad scientist' film, with Boris Karloff

Thumbnail image of Murder! (1930)Murder! (1930)

Hitchcock whodunit with a theatrical setting

Thumbnail image of Number Seventeen (1932)Number Seventeen (1932)

Early Hitchcock sound thriller about criminals holed up in a deserted house

Thumbnail image of Phantom Light, The (1935)Phantom Light, The (1935)

Atmospheric early Michael Powell work about an allegedly haunted lighthouse

Thumbnail image of Red Ensign (1934)Red Ensign (1934)

A visionary shipbuilder strives to rescue the British shipping industry

Thumbnail image of Rome Express (1932)Rome Express (1932)

Delightful comedy-thriller set on a VIP-packed express train

Thumbnail image of Shooting Stars (1928)Shooting Stars (1928)

Anthony Asquith's first film, a satirical romantic drama set in a film studio

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