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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

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

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

Referenced in Strife with Father (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Ronald Colman's greatest performances
22 November 2012 | by wbrighentiSee all my reviews

Colman was not only good looking, suave, sophisticated, and dashing, but he had a lyrical voice, an absolute necessity for a great actor. Recall the speech and voices of Peter O'Toole, James Mason, Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier: when they spoke, it was not mere prose but verse. So who better to play the poet, Francois Villon, than Ronald Colman, who possessed the voice of a poet.

Ronald Colman is my favorite actor of all time. I loved his performance in this film as well as his performances in "Random Harvest", "The Prisoner of Zenda", "The Lost Horizon", and "The Talk of the Town".

There were other great performances in this film besides that of Ronald Colman. Basil Rathbone's performance as King Louis XI is perhaps one of his finest, and deserving of an Academy Award as best supporting actor, while Frances Dee's performance as Villon's beloved is mesmerizing, the images to relive forever in one's dreams: the perfection of beauty and femininity. And Ellen Drew's portrayal of Huguette is touching without being maudlin.

Great film, great performances. Hollywood at its very best.


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