George Arliss is a world-renowned pianist, engaged to a young woman (Bette Davis) much younger than himself. An explosion renders Arliss completely deaf, but he soon becomes an expert lip-reader. To practice this skill, he looks out his window through binoculars, reading the lips of those who pass through the public park below. He learns that many people have problems far worse than his own, so he secretly arranges to solve the financial and emotional crises of those whose words he has read. Arliss' talent backfires on him when he spots his fiancee in the park with another man; she reveals that she does not love Arliss, but is staying with him out of loyalty. Though broken-hearted, Arliss expansively allows his fiancee to marry the man she truly loves, and even arranges for their future security. The Man Who Played God was based on a stage play also starring George Arliss, which he'd previously filmed in 1922. It was remade in 1955 as Sincerely Yours, starring the inimitable Liberace!