The King and the Chorus Girl (1937)

Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Farce, Musical Comedy  |   Release Date - Mar 27, 1937 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The King and the Chorus Girl is an agreeably pleasant little comedy. This is surprising only when one considers that the film was co-authored by Groucho Marx, whose work is usually described in livelier terms than "agreeable" and "pleasant." That Marx and co-writer Norman Krasna didn't provide a funnier screenplay for King is unfortunate; what exists is amiable and entertaining, but could have been considerably more if there had been some of the anarchic humor of which Marx is clearly capable. Still, there's nothing wrong with being pleasant, and King is certainly a fine way to pass the time. Mervyn LeRoy directs in solid fashion, with one eye on romance and the other on comedy, and the resulting work is efficient and moderately energetic. King also features the American debut of Fernand Garvey, who is charmingly amusing as the titular member of the royal family. The chorus girl is Joan Blondell, which is not surprising, but who turns in a subdued and "ingénue"-like performance, which definitely is unexpected. She's quite good and does get to display her comic timing in several instances, but one misses her usual brashness. Fortunately, Jane Wyman is on hand to pick up the brash slack, and Edward Everett Horton gets to contribute his usual put-upon performance, which he does with aplomb.