The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ...
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A musical revue that basically has Paramount stars and contract-players doing things some had never done on screen, and wouldn't again; such as Ruth Chatteron , in a French-café setting ... See full summary »
In 18th-Century Russia, the Czar, Paul, is surrounded by murderous plots and trusts only Count Pahlen. Pahlen wishes to protect his friend, the mad king, but because of the horror of the ... See full summary »
The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His hanging will be postponed for 24 hours, and in that time he must defeat the invading Burgundians and win the love of the beautiful Katherine. Written by
Albert Sanchez Moreno <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Onward, Onward, Swords Against The Foe, Forward, Forward The Lily Banners Go"
The chance to see a major Broadway star recreate his role for the screen is an opportunity not to be missed. It's sad though that Dennis King was not given proper direction for the screen in his performance.
Of course he and Jeanette MacDonald sing the Rudolf Friml-Brian Hooker songs beautifully. We even get a bonus of Lillian Roth singing the Waltz Hugette which was a big hit for her. If you remember in the biographical film, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Susan Hayward as Roth sings that song among others identified with Roth on the soundtrack.
Probably a lot more of you remember the straight dramatic version of Justin Huntly McCarthy's play If I Were King that starred Ronald Colman eight years later. Seeing both I know where all the songs are, it's like seeing Pygmalion after you've seen My Fair Lady. The Colman version had a much lighter touch to it though. Dennis King played it as a stalwart hero, a little less of the rogue that Colman was.
O.P. Heggie was also a far more serious Louis XI than Basil Rathbone was, though I saw aspects in Heggie's performance that Rathbone no doubt imitated.
Probably The Vagabond King was done just a tad too early. The early sound recording techniques don't help and in a few years King would have learned to dial it down a bit for the screen. Take a look at his dramatic non-singing role as the country vicar in Between Two Worlds.
King was Rudolf Friml's favorite Broadway leading man. He was the original Mountie in Rose Marie for those of you thought the part originated with Nelson Eddy and besides The Vagabond King he also starred as D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers. For some reason that operetta was never made into a film and I wish it had. Even Dennis King playing it like he would for the stage would have been better than that awful thing with Don Ameche and the Ritz Brothers.
The Vagabond King is certainly a film for Jeanette's legion of fans and it is a chance to see a Broadway star recreate his role for the screen despite the flaws.
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