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The Vagabond King (1930)

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 ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(operetta), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
François Villon
...
Katherine
...
King Louis XI
...
...
Thibault
...
Oliver the barber
...
The Astrologer (as Thomas Ricketts)
...
Tristan
Christian J. Frank ...
Executioner
...
Girl
...
Brunette
Thora Waverly ...
Brunette
Cecile Cameron ...
Brunette
Jean Douglas ...
Blonde
Eugenia Woodbury ...
Blonde
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Storyline

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 <a.moreno@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

remake | swashbuckler | operetta | See All (3) »

Taglines:

Stupendous beyond realization! Magnificent beyond all belief! the greatest romance the world has ever known! (print ad- Buffalo ((NY)) Evening News, 12 March 1930) See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der König der Vagabunden  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ernst Lubitsch oversaw the retakes, including a battle montage near the end of the film, without credit. See more »

Connections

Version of If I Were King (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Huguette Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml
Lyrics by Brian Hooker
Sung by Lillian Roth
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Onward, Onward, Swords Against The Foe, Forward, Forward The Lily Banners Go"
6 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

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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