Iron Duke, The

2101. THE IRON DUKE (1935-ENGLAND). WITH George Arliss, Gladys Cooper, Felix AYLMER, EMLYN WILUAMS. A colorful and fast-paced historical drama of war, political intrigue and scandal that’s filled with plot twists and suspense. The year is 1815 and Europe is at peace. Napoleon, the “raging lion,” is in captivity on the island of Elba. Security can only be maintained by permanently weakening France. After deposing Napoleon they brought back to the French throne the exiled Bourbon king Louis XVIII. Here is where Great Britain comes into play in the person of the Duke of Wellington. The Duke had a role in Napoleon’s downfall through his victorious military campaign in the Spanish peninsula. Wellington heads off to the Congress of Vienna to convince the alliance that the fragile peace in Europe can only be maintained by the fair treatment of France. The scenario is set into motion when word arrives at the Congress of Napoleon’s escape from Elba. Wellington is depicted as a brilliant military tactician and the “greatest soldier in the world” Notwithstanding; he is a statesman as well as a soldier. He is wise beyond the ways of war as he constantly utters such quotable quotes as “Except for defeat there’s nothing more tragic than a great victory.” The great George Arliss, who was expert at playing historical characters, delivers a typicalÂly canny performance as the Duke. It is a treat to watch him perform as he makes even the simple act of sipping tea a visual delight. 89 minutes. Historical Drama