February 11, 2011
With the abdication of Egypt’s Mubarak, and the popularity of THE KING’S SPEECH, the George Arliss film, THE KING’S VACATION (1933), seems suddenly topical. One of three films in the Warners Archive release of its 3-disc George Arliss Collection, this film manages to be a funny, sentimental, and poignant story and truly an “adult” film in the sense that younger folks won’t “get it.” The film was based on an original story written specifically for Arliss by Ernest Pascal. Here’s a summary:
Phillip tells his Queen Wilhelmina (Florence Arliss) that their arranged “marriage of state” is over and he is returning to his first wife. The Queen hints that she too has a lover that she calls only Mr.X.
Phillip and and his first wife Helen (Marjorie Gateson) are reunited. He meets his grown daughter (Patricia Ellis – Dick Powell is her boyfriend) and hopes to pick up where they left off 20 years ago.
Another production shot. Actress Maude Leslie as the maid stands at left for her cue:
So how is this impasse resolved? Even author Ernest Pascal couldn’t figure that out. Here’s the conclusion of his story outline:
A lot of help he was – but Arliss figured out the ending and it’s a good one.