Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The legend of renegade French poet Francois Villon was dramatized in the 1901 Justin McCarthy play If I Were King. This theatrical piece inspired several films, as well as the Rudolph Friml/Brian Hooker musical play The Vagabond King (1927). Dennis King recreated his original London and Broadway stage role as Villon when Vagabond King was transferred to celluloid in 1930. The story is the familiar one of politically savvy Louis XVI (O.P. Heggie), hoping to enlist the French peasants in his upcoming battle against the Burgundians, appointing Francois Villon king of France for one day. Jeanette MacDonald is the high-born girl whom Villon pines for, while Lillian Roth is the street urchin who gives up her life to save her beloved poet. This early-talkie Vagabond King has scarcely been seen since the 1956 MGM remake, which starred the never-to-be-remembered opera luminary Oreste.
France, poet, king, peasant, conflict, defense [military], battle [war], romance