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If I Were King (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, History | 11 November 1938 (USA)
Vagabond poet François Villon rises to high office in 1463 Paris.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Captain of the Watch
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The Queen
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Noel le Jolys
Walter Kingsford ...
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Colette
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Robin Turgis
Colin Tapley ...
Jehan LeLoup
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Storyline

In 1463, Paris is besieged by the Duke of Burgundy, arch-rival of the king, who is content to sit tight while the poor starve. But there are traitors in Paris, and King Louis goes undercover to find one, thereby meeting Francois Villon, poet, philosopher and rogue. By chance Villon kills the king's traitor and is ordered to replace him...as Grand Constable of France! But there's a catch... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Love-Making was as Dangerous as His Sword-Play

Genres:

Adventure | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kralj pustolova  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marked the second Oscar nomination that art director Hans Dreier received for working on the same story. He had been nominated for working on the 1930 film The Vagabond King (1930), which was a musical version of "If I Were King". See more »

Goofs

The idealized diet of a king includes hummingbirds, but those had not been discovered yet, as Columbus was still a few decades to come. See more »

Quotes

King Louis XI: If it is so easy to be king, how would you begin?
François Villon: First, by eating... my next step would be to clean house. The vermin who infest the palace I'd hang in clusters.
King Louis XI: What would you do next?
François Villon: Try to know my subjects and try to earn their devotion and loyalty instead of their loathing.
King Louis XI: By abolishing taxes, I suppose?
François Villon: No! By abolishing despair and substituting hope. By knowing the longings in their hearts as a man of the people would, seeing them as they are and admitting that their vices are as deep ...
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are displayed on the roofs and outside walls of houses. See more »

Connections

Version of If I Were King (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent and Rousing Adventure from Film's Golden Age!
1 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I found this movie by happy accident when looking for another title at Video Vault. What a fortunate find, an excellent Middle Ages romp made by multi-Oscar master filmmaker Frank Lloyd.

Dealing with a fictional encounter between Louis XI of France and a rouge Villain, these two roles are wonderfully played by Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone --- possibly the best roles these two great actors ever did. With Paris surrounded by the army of the Dukes of Burgundy and slowly being starved into submission, the king's plans are falling short of success --- with battle-shy generals and no back-up plan. Into this mess comes the rogue Villain with a different approach......

There isn't a dull minute in this fine production and the reproduction of French architecture, costumes, et cetera, is beyond perfect.

It isn't easy to see this movie; it's a Paramount Picture released on VHS long ago by Universal/MCA. That means you can find it eventually, either at a specialty video store or by tenacious search on eBay.


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