By 1949, British stage and film star A.E. Matthews was more widely celebrated for his advanced age (eighty) than his considerable thespian achievements. In The Amazing Mr. Beecham (original British title: The Chiltern Hundreds), Matthews goes into his well-calculated "doddering aristocrat" routine as an elderly earl confounded by political upheaval. The old man's son (David Tomlinson) attempts to be elected to Parliament on the socialist ticket, but it is the family butler (Cecil Parker) who ends up being elected as a Tory. The original play, written by William Douglas Home, had also served as a vehicle for the venerable Matthews (who had made his stage debut in 1886!) After Amazing Mr. Beecham, A.E. Matthews remained active until his death in 1960 at age 91.
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