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The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister(1942)

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The working title of this film was An Empire Is Built. Although opening credits include a copyright statement, the title is not listed in the Copyright Catalog. Benjamin Disraeli was born in 1804 and wrote novels throughout his twenties. In 1837 he became the first Jewish person elected to the Conservative Party and quickly became a leading conservative spokesman, despite his lack of popularity with aristocrats. He married Mary Anne Wyndham Lewis in 1839 and their close relationship lasted until her death from cancer in 1872. He served as Prime Minister in 1868 and again from 1874-1880, during which time he gained fame for his strong foreign policy as well as his work improving living conditions in England. At his death in 1881, he was awarded a hero's burial.
       According to news items, during the filming of The Prime Minister, daily air raids and bombings near the production's London Teddington Studios caused a distraction. The film was released in London in March 1941, and in America in 1942. Prints released in the United States were 15-20 minutes shorter than the British prints. Warner Bros. was so pleased with the British version of the film that they canceled plans to film a separate version in America.
       Other films based on the life of Disraeli include two productions titled Disraeli: a 1921 United Artists picture, directed by Henry Kolker and starring George Arliss and Mrs. George Arliss; and a 1929 Warner Bros. production, directed by Alfred E. Green and starring George Arliss and Joan Bennett (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.1356 and F2.1357). The 1963 NBC television drama, The Invincible Mr. Disraeli, was also based on his life.