Mercenary Donovan is hired to kidnap King Peter II. He learns that the party in power is evil and that the King is in danger, so kidnaps the King to keep him safe while a revolution is planned.



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Col. Michael Donovan
King Peter II
Countess Sonia
Lady Augusta
George Foster
Stefan Bernaido
Paul Valdis
Walter Kingsford ...
Christian Ledgard
Prince Edric
Rollo Lloyd ...
Cabinet Member
Maurice Cass ...
Monsieur Le Noir
Sam Savitsky ...
Mischa (as General Savitsky)


Mercenary Donovan is hired to kidnap King Peter II. He learns that the party in power is evil and that the King is in danger, so kidnaps the King to keep him safe while a revolution is planned.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | boy | See All (2) »


Uproarious and romantic as only a Damon Runyon yarn can be! See more »







Release Date:

27 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicago-Gangster  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was originally planned as a Wallace Beery vehicle before Victor McLaglen was cast. Michael Whalen and Constance Collier replaced Franchot Tone and Edna May Oliver. See more »


Joan of Arkansas
Music by Johnny Green
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
See more »

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User Reviews

Damon Runyon in Scotland
21 August 2012 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Soldier of fortune Victor McLaglen (as Michael Donovan) is unhappy being employed to watch over playboy Michael Whalen (as George Foster), who frequently gets into trouble with liquor and ladies. When asked by citizens of a small European country to abduct their king, Mr. McLaglen happily agrees. The usurpers don't want their royal ruler harmed during the revolution because he is young Freddie Bartholomew (as King Peter II). At a costume party for royal subjects, Mr. Whalen meets lovely Gloria Stuart (as Countess Sonia), and they are mutually attracted. McLaglen meets young Bartholomew, but balks at kidnapping a mere "kid"...

Bartholomew finds the idea adventurous and insists on going along with the plan...

This isn't the writer's usual setting, but Damon Runyon's "Gentlemen, the King!" feels right at home with McLaglen's presence and Bartholomew's "little king" expressing much fondness for Runyonesque America. The supporting cast is enriched by the presence of Constance Collier (as Lady Augusta) and C. Henry Gordon (as Gino) is an effective lead villain. The black-and-white cinematography by Rudolph Mate is noteworthy. He combines with director Tay Garnett for some striking moments, especially in the castle. Mr. Mate could have given us more footage of beautiful gypsy dancer Rita Hayworth, but he made up for it in her later films.

****** Professional Soldier (12/27/35) Tay Garnett ~ Victor McLaglen, Freddie Bartholomew, Michael Whalen, Gloria Stuart

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