7.3/10
677
18 user 6 critic

If I Were King (1938)

Vagabond poet François Villon rises to high office in 1463 Paris.

Director:

Frank Lloyd
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... François Villon
Basil Rathbone ... King Louis XI
Frances Dee ... Katherine de Vaucelles
Ellen Drew ... Huguette
C.V. France ... Father Villon
Henry Wilcoxon ... Captain of the Watch
Heather Thatcher ... The Queen
Stanley Ridges ... Rene de Montigny
Bruce Lester ... Noel le Jolys
Walter Kingsford ... Tristan l'Hermite
Alma Lloyd ... Colette
Sidney Toler ... Robin Turgis
Colin Tapley ... Jehan LeLoup
Ralph Forbes ... Oliver Le Dain
John Miljan ... Thibaut D'Aussigny
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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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Si yo fuera rey See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Colman was a frequent guest on Jack Benny's radio show, where he was supposedly Jack's next-door neighbor in Beverly Hills. A 1946 broadcast had Colman rehearsing his recital of the poem, "If I Were King," only to find himself being drowned out by Jack's violin playing from next door. 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

Rene: Fine time to be writing poetry.
François Villon: What better time? If a man isn't inspired by his own death, he's beyond inspiration.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of The Vagabond King (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent and Rousing Adventure from Film's Golden Age!
1 August 2007 | by vitaleralphlouisSee 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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