IMDb > The Beloved Rogue (1927)

The Beloved Rogue (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul Bern (screenplay)
George Marion Jr. (titles) ...
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Release Date:
12 March 1927 (USA) See more »
François Villon, in his lifetime the most renowned poet in France, is also a prankster, an occasional criminal, and an ardent patriot. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Viva Villon: The Adventures of a Vagabond Lover See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Barrymore ... François Villon

Conrad Veidt ... King Louis XI

Marceline Day ... Charlotte de Vauxcelles

Lawson Butt ... Duke of Burgundy

Henry Victor ... Thibault d'Aussigny

Slim Summerville ... Jehan

Mack Swain ... Nicholas
Angelo Rossitto ... Beppo - the Dwarf

Nigel De Brulier ... Astrologer
Lucy Beaumont ... Villon's Mother
Otto Matieson ... Olivier (as Otto Mattiesen)

Jane Winton ... The Abbess
Rose Dione ... Margot
Bertram Grassby ... Duke of Orleans
Dick Sutherland ... Tristan l'Hermite
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martha Franklin ... Maid (uncredited)

Jack Kenny ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Stubby Kruger ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Dickie Moore ... Baby Francois (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Crosland 
Writing credits
Paul Bern (screenplay)

George Marion Jr. (titles) and
Walter Anthony (titles)

John Barrymore  uncredited
Paul Bern  story

Cinematography by
Joseph H. August (photographed by) (as Joe August)
Film Editing by
Hal C. Kern 
Art Direction by
William Cameron Menzies 
Production Management
Walter Mayo .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gordon Hollingshead .... assistant director
Paul Malvern .... stunt double: John Barrymore (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Melbourne Spurr .... publicity photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Frank Donnellan .... wardrobe manager
Other crew
Bryan Foy .... comedy construction (as Bryant Foy)
Ned Mann .... technical director (as Ned Herbert Mann)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Silent (musical score)
Canada:G (Ontario)

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 »
Continuity: When Francois Villon is stripped and whipped in the dungeon the lacerations on his torso move between shots.See more »
François Villon:Happy is Paris, where fools reign once a year - while everywhere else the fools reign all the time!See more »
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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Viva Villon: The Adventures of a Vagabond Lover, 10 September 2005
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

THE BELOVED ROGUE (United Artists, 1927), directed by Alan Crosland, offers John Barrymore the opportunity of enacting a role portrayed numerous times on stage and screen by other actors, that of Francois Villon, the first great poet of France. Villon had been portrayed on screen in IF I WERE KING by William Farnum (Fox, 1920) and Ronald Colman (Paramount, 1938); while Dennis King (1930) and Oreste (1956) did the musical versions of Paramount's THE VAGABOND KING. John Barrymore's characterization ranks one of the finer carnations as well as bazaar. Villon in THE BELOVED ROGUE is described through inter-titles as "poet, pickpocket, patriot, loving France earnestly, Frenchwomen excessively, French wine exclusively." A fun loving fool sporting Peter Pan attire with Robin Hood tights who recites poetry whenever it suits him, steals from the rich and gives to the poor, and travels along with two other companions, Jehan (Slim Summerville) and Nicholas (Mack Swain), all the similarities of a Douglas Fairbanks adventure combining Robin Hood, D'Artagnan of the Three Musketeers, and Zorro all into one. Francois Villon is far from being a fictional character originated in novels, he actually lived (1431-1463). How much displayed on screen to be fact is uncertain, but Barrymore performs in the manner of having himself a grand ole time whether romancing a girl or sliding down roof tops covered with snow. THE BELOVED ROGUE is not actually a biography of the famed poet, but the spirit of the man, undisciplined and riotous, with a gift of writing and reciting poetry.

Aside from the lighter moments mentioned that may give the impression of a costume comedy set in medieval times, THE BELOVED ROGUE starts off dramatically in Vauxcelles, France, the year 1432, with the execution of Francis De Montcorbier as he is burned at the stake in the fashion of Joan of Arc. His wife (Lucy Beaumont) who looks on with bitterness, afterword's, gives birth to a son she hopes will live for France as her husband died for it. The child grows up to become Francois Villon (John Barrymore), and 25 years later, he is seen entertaining the crowds after being elected "The King of Fools" for All Fool's Day in the guise of a clown. When he makes a witty jest at the expense of Duke Charles of Burgundy (Lawson Butt), his cousin, King Louis XI (Conrad Veidt) banishes him from Paris. Villon returns to Paris anyway, and, after supplying food and wine to the poor using the king's catapult, Villon, discovered by the king, escapes as he himself is thrown from the catapult, flying through the air and landing himself in the boudoir of Charlotte De Vauxcelles (Marceline Day), the King's ward forced into a loveless marriage to Count Thibault (Henry Victor), a henchman of a plotting Burgundy. Villon's speech and manner makes him Grand Constable of France, but after revealing the schemes perpetrated against the king, Villon is captured, tortured through flogging and pitted against the flames of fire before his death sentence is to be carried out. This is followed by one of the more memorable scenes where the weakened Villon is placed inside a metal cage-like structure as it is lifted up and left dangling outside the window of the palace tower where Charlotte is held prisoner before her proposed wedding. With much more to follow, the movie fails to disappoint.

The supporting cast includes Rose Dione as Marget; Angelo Rossito as Beppo, the dwarf; and Dick Sutherland as Tristam L'Hermite, the busiest man in France - the executioner. Look quickly for future child actor Dickie Moore early in the story as the infant Francois. German actor Conrad Veidt, making his Hollywood debut, comes close to being unrecognizable as the eccentric King Louis XI. Described as "superstitious, crafty, cruel, and a slave to the stars," he fails to make a move without the advise of his astrologer (Nigel DeBrulier). Marceline Day performs her task well in the typical damsel in distress manner.

Not as well known as Barrymore's notable silents as DON JUAN (Warners, 1926), THE BELOVED ROGUE is a lavish scale production with Paris settings reminiscent to ORPHANS OF THE STORM (1921) and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1923), compliments of set designer, William Cameron Menzies. Good camera angles and overhead camera shots also add to numerous shots of Barrymore's classic profile.

THE BELOVED ROGUE was one of the 13 silent features aired on public television's "The Silent Years" (1971) hosted by Orson Welles, from the Paul Killian film collection accompanied with excellent piano score by William Perry, the same print distributed on video cassette in 1998 by Critic's Choice Masterpiece Collection (from which this review was based). At the length of 99 minutes, running times may differ due to projection speed. Other distributors such as Video Yesteryear in the 1980s possess a copy to THE BELOVED ROGUE at 147 minutes. Which version is better depends on the individual viewer. THE BELOVED ROGUE might be one of the most overlooked of all silent movies due to the lack of television revivals in recent years, however, it is something to consider, especially for silent film enthusiasts and/or film historians who enjoy watching both Barrymore and Veidt hamming it up to a point of laughter and disbelief. (***)

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