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The Beloved Rogue (1927)

François Villon, in his lifetime the most renowned poet in France, is also a prankster, an occasional criminal, and an ardent patriot.



(screenplay), (titles) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Duke of Burgundy
Thibault d'Aussigny
Beppo - the Dwarf
Villon's Mother
Otto Matieson ...
Olivier (as Otto Mattiesen)
The Abbess
Rose Dione ...
Duke of Orleans


In 1432, while François Villon is still an infant, his father dies as a martyr to his devotion to France. François grows up to be a renowned poet, an ardent patriot, and a notorious carouser who is not above criminal acts. During the revels of All Fools Day, he insults Duke Charles of Burgundy, for which King Louis XI, who is afraid of Charles, banishes Villon from Paris. In exile outside the city walls, François looks for ways to protect France from Burgundy's plots. When Charles plans to have one of his associates marry the king's ward Charlotte, Villon successfully disrupts the engagement, but for so doing is sentenced to death. But Villon finds a way to exploit Louis's superstitious nature long enough to give him another chance to serve France, while at the same time seeking the hand of Charlotte. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

france | patriot | king | burgundy | martyr | See All (16) »





Release Date:

12 March 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Vagabond Lover  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dickie Moore was chosen to play the young John Barrymore when Joseph Selznick coincidently saw him when picking up his mother to drive her to the studio. The only controversy occurred when young Moore as Barrymore was supposed to drink Coca-Cola instead of wine from his baby bottle. The mother asked that prune juice be substituted, See more »


When Francois Villon is stripped and whipped in the dungeon the lacerations on his torso move between shots. See more »


François Villon: Every man has two souls - one for the world, and one for the woman he loves.
See more »


Version of If I Were King (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

John Barrymore Is Fit to Be King
13 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

In 15th century Paris, poetic lover John Barrymore (as Francois Villon) leads crowds in an extended celebration of "All Fools' Day" which irks King Conrad Veidt (as Louis XI). Consequently, Mr. Barrymore is banished to the outskirts. After Barrymore is caught sneaking back to the city, Mr. Veidt sentences him to death. Barrymore proves himself cleverer than your usual connoisseur of wine, women, and song. He convinces the superstitions Mr. Veidt their deaths are destined to occur within the same day, and becomes a pampered member of the court. Soon, Barrymore risks his life to rescue beautifully figured Marceline Day (as Charlotte), and save France...

This version of "If I Were King" is obviously tailor-made for Barrymore. The United Artists production values are very high.

Barrymore was one of the best actors around through the 1920s. He appeared in relatively few films, but they were carefully selected. Here, he is probably at his "hammiest" - which he admitted upon seeing the film at a crowded premiere. Not to be outdone, Veidt chews a fair share of the scenery. Lucy Beaumont leads an accomplished supporting cast. However hammy, Barrymore is highly appealing. He is also, despite reports to the contrary, still in peak physical form. Not only does Barrymore display boundless energy, he plays the last act in a loincloth. Barrymore was now in his mid-forties. His famed "Great Profile" is also very much in evidence.

******* The Beloved Rogue (3/12/27) Alan Crosland ~ John Barrymore, Conrad Veidt, Marceline Day, Lucy Beaumont

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