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The Vagabond King (1930)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 67 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

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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Title: The Vagabond King (1930)

The Vagabond King (1930) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis King ...
...
O.P. Heggie ...
...
...
Arthur Stone ...
Tom Ricketts ...
The Astrologer (as Thomas Ricketts)
Lawford Davidson ...
Christian J. Frank ...
Executioner
Elda Voelkel ...
Girl
Dorothy Davis ...
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

Taglines:

The most sensational move ever made in Motion Picture History! 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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed 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

Hans Dreier, the art director on this film, was also art director for the 1938 non-musical version, "If I Were King". See more »

Connections

Version of The Oubliette (1914) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne
Music by Rudolf Friml
Lyrics by Brian Hooker
Sung by Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Essential early sound film from Broadway
5 June 2004 | by (Jersey City, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Considering the major names involved (in addition to the performers, it was an early screen adaptation from Herman J.

Mankiewicz!) in this fine reflection of the popular 1925 operetta, it's high time we had a good Technicolor restoration done and issued on DVD.

Jeanette MacDonald as the female lead is, perforce, secondary to the slightly "over the top" Dennis King recreating his starring Broadway role (511 performances at the Casino Theatre), but she gives a pure portrait of the King's niece much more honest and appealing than her later over blown "acting" in the Nelson Eddy screen operettas of the late 30's and 40's.

Lillian Roth's Huguette is more throaty than many familiar with the character's beautiful Rudolf Friml music may be used to, but her acting is impeccable and quite moving. Additionally, the chance to see 20th Century Fox's first major "Charlie Chan," Swedish actor Werner Oland, in another perspective entirely as Thibault, is not to be missed for any fan of Earl Derr Biggers' famous sleuth.

While, after the painful Hollywood custom, much of the rousing score has been sacrificed in the film's fast moving 104 minutes (only 100 surviving in the TV print I've seen), most of the best, "Some Day," "Only A Rose," "Huguette Waltz" and of course, "Song of the Vagabond" are here in fine form. Certainly preferable in this relatively faithful form than the bland 1956 remake. It's an exciting alternative to the fine (if music-less) 1938 Ronald Colman film drawn from The Vagabond King's source material: "If I Were King."


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