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The King's Thief (1955)

An ex-soldier turned highwayman uncovers a plot to take control of England from King Charles II.


Robert Z. Leonard, Hugo Fregonese (uncredited)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Blyth ... Lady Mary
Edmund Purdom ... Michael Dermott
David Niven ... James - Duke of Brampton
George Sanders ... Charles II
Roger Moore ... Jack
John Dehner ... Capt Herrick
Sean McClory ... Sheldon
Tudor Owen ... Simon
Melville Cooper ... Henry Wynch
Alan Mowbray ... Sir Gilbert Talbot
Rhys Williams ... Turnkey
Joan Elan ... Charity Fell
Charles Davis Charles Davis ... Apothecary
Ashley Cowan Ashley Cowan ... Skene
Ian Wolfe ... Fell


Lady Mary's father is innocently accused of treason and is executed. It is the king's evil chancellor, the Duke of Brampton, who has found a way of getting rich by accusing wealthy nobles of treason, having them killed and then expropriating part of their fortune along with their troops. Lady Mary travels to London to meet the duke and at the same time meets the daring and handsome highwayman Michael Dermott. Dermott has stolen the duke's notebook where the list of targeted noblemen has been written down. Obviously, the duke is very anxious to get his notebook back. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A romance inspired by a true story of a soldier of fortune!


Adventure | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 August 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Des Königs Dieb See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$1,577,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$478,000, 31 December 1955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,549,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hugo Fregonese was the film's original director. He was stricken with a virus, and was replaced by Robert Z. Leonard. It was Leonard's last film for MGM. Fregonese did not return to the film when he recovered, because of disagreements with Producer Edwin H. Knopf. See more »


Referenced in 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

So-so Costumer/Swashbuckler set at the court of 17th century English king Charles II
24 October 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Set in Charles II kingdom , when he is restored to the British throne , after Cromwell's Republic , and stars a handsome highwayman named Michael Dermott (Edmund Purdom) who holds up a villain , short-tempered Duke (David Niven who delivers the most indelible sight , making a surprisingly effective nasty) and acquires a notebook , which , in due course , he realises is the key to latter's scheme to eliminate a series of noblemen , yet really in the service of his own will of power . But Michael is caught and imprisoned along with his colleague Jack (Roger Moore) and , subsequently , both of whom escape across a risked getaway . While Lady Mary's (Ann Blyth) father is innocently accused of treason and is executed along with other allegedly traitors . It was carried out by the king's evil chancellor , the duke of Brampton , having them murdered and then expropriating their fortune , all under the auspices of protecting the throne from seditionaries . Then , Lady Mary travels to London to meet the duke , but instead meets Michael and both of whom fall in love . At the end Dermott becomes involved in a plot to steal the Crown jewels at the Tower of London and finds a worthy fencing adversary in the treacherous Duc of Brampton at an exciting final duel .

Edmund Purdom 's spectacular and overwhelming adventure features impressive duels , elegant costuming , adequate production design , marvelous gowns , loads of action and full of Restoration Regalia . Edmund Purdom is at his most agile and deft style and performs his own stunts . Purdom was 31 when he made this movie . Previously , Edmund made his best adventures and swashbucklers and played successes as ¨The student Prince¨, ¨The Egyptian¨, ¨Athena¨, ¨The prodigal¨ . It was all downhill for Purdom after this , as he emigrated Italy where starred ¨B¨ films , Sword and Sandals , Spaghettis and minor epics as ¨Herod the Great¨, ¨Nefertiti , queen of Nile¨ , and followed successive flops as ¨Mr Scarface¨, ¨Big Boss¨, ¨Dr. Frankestein castle of freaks¨. Nice acting by David Niven as Duke of Brampton , who has found a way of getting rich by accusing his enemies of treason and sequester their property . And Ann Blyth plays the damsel in distress seeking justice for her late daddy as a colourless female lead . Support cast is pretty well , plenty of familiar faces as John Dehner , Melville Cooper , Sean McClory , Alan Mowbray , Rhys Williams , Tudor Owen , Ian Wolf and a young Roger Moore and special mention for George Sanders as Charles II and leading a pack of Spaniels . This King Charles II was also played in ¨Restoration (1992) by Sam Neill , and George Sanders also portrayed him in ¨Forever Amber¨ (1947).

Richly costumed , including luxurious gowns and in glamorous Technicolor cinematography by cameraman by Robert H. Planck . Breathtaking and luxury set design and art design by Cedric Gibbons , MGM's ordinary , though mostly interiors . Here MGM turned out in a quiet corner of the backlot . Thrilling and evocative musical score by the great maestro and prolific Miklos Rozsa . The picture is not a masterpiece , being made in modest limits , with huge confidence and fair play by Robert Z Leonard . Robert directed all kinds of genres , but especially dramas and musicals , such as : Clown , The Duchess of Idaho , Nancy goes to Rio , In the good old summertime , When ladies meet , Ziegfeld girl , Pride and prejudice , Broadway serenade , Girl of the Golden west , The firefly , The great Ziegfeld , Dancing Lady , Strange interlude , The Divorcée and a Mormon maid . Rating : 5.5/10 , passable , a pleasing time-passer . An enjoyable vision to brighten any day .

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