Eminent cinema historians Herman Weinberg and William K. Everson discuss the career of film director Harry d'Abbadie D'Arrast, with excerpts from his film Topaze.
D'Arrast was a French nobleman who came to Hollywood in the silent film era and became Chaplin's assistant on "Gold Rush." He made a few witty and elegant films but fell out with the studio system and returned to Europe.
"Topaze" (1933, produced by David Selznick at RKO) has a script by Ben Hecht from a Marcel Pagnol play; it stars John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason and Jobyna Howland. Herman Weinberg stayed in touch with D'Arrast; he relates how in his later years he supported himself by gambling at the Monte Carlo.