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Thread: Sir C. Aubrey Smith

  1. #1
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    Sir C. Aubrey Smith

    Before Sir C. Aubrey Smith (1863-1948) was featured in over 100 movies during Hollywood's Golden Age, he had been a popular stage actor in both England and the United States. But probably the most interesting biographical detail for readers of this forum is the fact that Sir Aubrey was also a talented cricket player, and is still (to my knowledge) the only person to have captained a national team in his only Test match. I've just posted a biographical article about Sir Aubrey that covers his career as both a cricket player and an actor. You can read the article at Articles > C. Aubrey Smith

    You may find my references to cricket a bit simplistic. That was done intentionally because my website is devoted to the history of motion pictures, not cricket, and my primary audience is American and, in most cases, not familiar with the sport. However, I would appreciate knowing about any errors in the article pertaining to cricket.

    I hope you enjoy the article . . .

    Ken Robichaux
    kpr772@gmail.com

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I never thought I'd see a thread on CW devoted to "Round the Corner" Smith. It may be this little bit of triviais mentioned in the article but if not which other former England cricket captain appeared with Smith in "The Four Feathers"?

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    It's an excellent article, KPR. Well worth a read for the historically minded cricket fan. Sir Aubrey was clearly one of the more fascinating coves to captain England in tests (even if he was unaware he was doing so at the time).

    The answer to fred's poser isn't in KPR's article, but it does get a mention on his cricinfo page. Interestingly the film also featured a very young Leslie Phillips & John "Frazer from Dad's Army" Laurie.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Very good read

    This is the only bit that is not correct in a cricketing sense

    "behind the umpire and throw the ball with an unusually wide sweep"

    Bowlers "bowl" the ball and never throw it, otherwise they are breaking the laws of the game
    You know it makes sense.


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    Excellent and fascinating article. He was in a lot of big money-making productions in his Hollywood career.

    I read about him originally in David Niven's Bring on the Empty Horses as DN used to turn out for the Hollywood Cricket Club with C.Aubrey Smith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    Very good read

    This is the only bit that is not correct in a cricketing sense

    "behind the umpire and throw the ball with an unusually wide sweep"

    Bowlers "bowl" the ball and never throw it, otherwise they are breaking the laws of the game
    Thanks for the correction, Archie Mac. I'll change "throw" to "bowl" in the article. My knowledge of cricket is rudimentary, but I'm making an effort to learn more about the sport.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    C. Aubrey Smith has a very low Bacon number of 2.

    In 1946 he appeared in Rendesvouz with Annie alongside Eddie Albert, who in turn in 1989 appeared in The Big Picture with Kevin Bacon.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    C Aubrey Smith was in Daybreak (1931) with Jackie Searl
    Jackie Searl was in Divorce American Style (1967) with Patsy Garrett
    Patsy Garrett was in Mississippi Masala (1991) with Anjan Srivastav
    Anjan Srivastav was in Stumped (2003) with Sachin Tendulkar

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPR772 View Post
    Thanks for the correction, Archie Mac. I'll change "throw" to "bowl" in the article. My knowledge of cricket is rudimentary, but I'm making an effort to learn more about the sport.
    My pleasure

    I enjoyed the David Rayvern Allen book and also read one on Monty Bowden and the author hinted that Mr Smith left his partner high and dry in SA and not the other way around. Or that is the memory I have after reading it, but it was a few years ago

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    Your memory is correct, Archie Mac. The short time Aubrey Smith spent in South Africa was certainly not the high-point of his life --- mistakes were obviously made --- and there certainly is some controversy about the debt his firm incurred and how that debt was eventually handled. It does seem odd to me that the London Stock Exchange would deny admission to Smith because of the debt, if he had not had something to do with it originally and had taken it upon himself to pay it off. On the other hand, knowing the little I know of Aubrey Smith, it would seem out of character for such a financially conservative person to have run up such a large debt and then abandoned both his firm and his partner when the debt came due. The answer might lie in the proceedings of the London Stock Exchange when it considered Aubrey's request for admission.

    I feel that the "definitive" biography of C. Aubrey Smith has not yet been written.
    Last edited by KPR772; 26-05-2011 at 06:28 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPR772 View Post
    Your memory is correct, Archie Mac. The short time Aubrey Smith spent in South Africa was certainly not the high-point of his life --- mistakes were obviously made --- and there certainly is some controversy about the debt his firm incurred and how that debt was eventually handled. It does seem odd to me that the London Stock Exchange would deny admission to Smith because of the debt, if he had not had something to do with it originally and had taken it upon himself to pay it off. On the other hand, knowing the little I know of Aubrey Smith, it would seem out of character for such a financially conservative person to have run up such a large debt and then abandoned both his firm and his partner when the debt came due. The answer might lie in the proceedings of the London Stock Exchange when it considered Aubrey's request for admission.

    I feel that the "definitive" biography of C. Aubrey Smith has not yet been written.
    Very interesting, I agree it would have been out of character, as everything else I have read about Aubrey Smith has been very positive.

    It might be you who has to write the 'definitive" bio on the great man of Hollywood cricket

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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post
    Very interesting, I agree it would have been out of character, as everything else I have read about Aubrey Smith has been very positive.

    It might be you who has to write the 'definitive" bio on the great man of Hollywood cricket
    Holy cow! That old saying is true --- great minds DO think alike! I was about to suggest that you pick up the literary gauntlet and, as an expert in the the sport of cricket, write a biography of Aubrey Smith yourself.

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KPR772 View Post
    Holy cow! That old saying is true --- great minds DO think alike! I was about to suggest that you pick up the literary gauntlet and, as an expert in the the sport of cricket, write a biography of Aubrey Smith yourself.
    While reading the bio by DRA I had the thought that I simply did not have the knowledge of plays and motion pictures to ever have the skills to do the great man justice

    I would however been pleased to proof read your efforts on cricket in relation to A Smith

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    C Aubrey Smith was in Daybreak (1931) with Jackie Searl
    Jackie Searl was in Divorce American Style (1967) with Patsy Garrett
    Patsy Garrett was in Mississippi Masala (1991) with Anjan Srivastav
    Anjan Srivastav was in Stumped (2003) with Sachin Tendulkar
    Aubrey Smith played against George Herbert Hirst at Dewsbury, 7-8 June 1894
    George Herbert Hirst played with Herbert Sutcliffe at Scarborough, 1-3 September 1921
    Herbert Sutcliffe played against Cyril Washbrook at Scarborough, 29-31 August 1945
    Cyril Washbrook played with Ken Higgs at Blackpool, 2-4 September 1959
    Ken Higgs played against Phil DeFreitas at Leicester, 6-8 August 1986
    Phil DeFreitas played against Sachin Tendulkar at Leeds, 31 July-3 August 1992
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_Vimes View Post
    Ken Higgs played against Phil DeFreitas at Leicester, 6-8 August 1986
    With, tbf.



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