General Crack

General Crack
Directed by Alan Crosland
Produced by Ned Marin
Written by J. Grubb Alexander (scenario & dialogue)
Walter Anthony (adaptation)
Based on 1928 novel by
George R. Preedy
Starring John Barrymore
Music by Rex Dunn
Cinematography Tony Gaudio (Technicolor)
Edited by Harold McLernon
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • December 3, 1929 (1929-12-03) (NYC & LA)
  • January 25, 1930 (1930-01-25) (US)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English

General Crack is a 1930 American Pre-Code part-talkie historical costume melodrama with Technicolor sequences which was directed by Alan Crosland and produced and distributed by Warner Bros. It was filmed and premiered in 1929, and released early in 1930. It stars John Barrymore in his first full-length all-talking feature. The film would prove to be Crosland and Barrymore's last historical epic together.[1]


The film takes place in the 18th century Austria and revolves around Prince Christian, commonly known as General Crack (John Barrymore). His father had been a respectable member of the nobility but his mother was a gypsy. General Crack, as a soldier of fortune, spent his adult life selling his services to the highest bidder. He espouses the doubtful cause of Leopold II of Austria (Lowell Sherman) after demanding the sister of the emperor in marriage as well as half of the gold of the Empire. Before he has finished his work, however, he meets a gypsy dancer (Armida) and weds her. Complications arise when he takes his gypsy wife to the Austrian court and falls desperately in love with the emperor's sister (Marian Nixon). The court sequence was originally in Technicolor and proved to be Barrymore's last appearance in color.[2]



The sound version of the film is lost. The silent version of this film, with Czech intertitles, survives, but does not have any of the original color sequences.[3] Copies are located in the Czech archive and the Modern Museum of Art.[4] Although the complete soundtrack for the sound version survives on Vitaphone disks, the silent version was either a "B" negative or an alternate take with intertitles. So while this is a legitimate version of the film, it does not match up with the Vitaphone soundtrack.

See also


  1. General Crack at the silentera database
  2. He had previously appeared in The Show of Shows 1929 in color.
  3. John Barrymore General Crack 1929 on YouTube
  4. Film details,; accessed January 20, 2016.

External links

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