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If I Were King (1938)

Passed | | Adventure, History | 11 November 1938 (USA)
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

William Farnum, who plays Gen. Barbezier, starred as Villon in the first film version of If I Were King (1920) in 1920. 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

 
What Golden Age Hollywood Did Best
15 June 2005 | by juvenalxxSee all my reviews

Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone, two wonderful actors having the time of their careers playing wittily written opposites who are also spiritual soulmates -- Francois Villon, the poetic rebel, born into poverty with a noble soul, and Louis XI, King of France, born into privilege but with a rebel's iconoclasm. Add a witty script by that poetic comedic rebel Preston Sturges, who hits all the crowd-pleasing buttons without condescension and no-nonsense direction by Frank Lloyd, and you have a top Hollywood product -- a crowd pleaser with intelligence.

Rathbone is a particular delight. Pre-Holmes, he revels in playing an unprepossessing cynic to whom everyone must bow because he happens to be the king. Colman is doing what he does best, playing an intelligent, superior man, without losing the common touch. A delight all the way around.


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