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Maria Montez was accorded top billing in this film by contractual agreement, although she is in the picture only long enough to take a bath in a tricky 17th century bathtub while sipping coffee with Charles Stuart and delivering dialogue in a barely-understandable French-accent. This is the second major film released within a short period with King Charles II as a primary character, and Charles here and Charles (George Sanders) in "Forever Amber" are two very varied approaches to the same character. This one takes place prior to the beginning of "Forever Amber" when Charles II and his followers are hiding out in Holland from Oliver Cromwell's puritan Round Heads. Being temporarily at liberty (or unemployed), Charles takes a day job at the farm/estate of Katie, and falls in love with her. Meanwhile he eludes his enemies by agility, enterprise and sword play, some of the latter performed while riding the blades of a Dutch windmill. He is summoned back to the throne and has to leave ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film credits "introduce" actress Paule Corset, who was in fact, Rita Corday who had been under contract to RKO for about four years, and had already appeared in nearly two dozen films. See more »
Director Max Ophuls's original ending was changed prior to the American release. In the original ending, there is an unbroken shot that starts with Nigel Bruce's character waiting outside the door and goes on to follow Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (in his regal garb) as he descends the stairs and walks out into the crowd. Katie (Rita Corday) prays and leaves her room. Two men enter the now-empty inn and discuss the placement of a commemorative plaque for the site. As they go over the wording for the plaque (about Charles II's loyal supporters, etc.), they notice Katie exiting in the background and dismiss her as unimportant. As they continue reading, the screen dissolves to a shot of the plaque (seen earlier in the film), closing in on the engraved image of Charles II's head in profile at the bottom. (In the American release ending, a quick shot of Katie leaving her room breaks up the shot of Fairbanks descending the stairs. After the king exits, the film cuts to the plaque and the engraved image.) The original ending may have been seen on international prints of the film. Turner Classic Movies has, on occasion, shown the alternate ending as a bonus after airing the American version of the film. See more »
Swashbuckler meets visually artistic director in this sweeping, poetic and romantic -- but sadly forgotten gem.
In one of his BEST acting roles, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.'s second stint as a movie producer--and his first as a writer--is an ambitious attempt to dramatize the tale of the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. An avowed Anglophile, Fairbanks has a strong sense of the history of his adoptive land. (He was born in New York City.) Fortunately, the drama and excitement of the pursuit of Charles Stuart (Fairbanks) after his return from self-imposed exile in Holland by Oliver Cromwell's Puritans is lushly displayed by the producer-author-star's insistence on a deliberate, poetic pace for the story. Much of the film is concerned with Fairbanks' trysting with the luscious Croset--later Paula Corday--in her first starring role, as a Royalist who conceals the fugitive king on her estate. Despite a strong supporting cast and an interesting concept, the film is a forgotten charmer!
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