Arliss Alert! THE KING’S VACATION (1933) on TCM Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 @ 5:15 PM ET

The people of a country rise up to oust their leader and he goes into exile. This may sound a little like today’s news but actually it’s the plot of THE KING’S VACATION, which is being shown by Turner Classic Movies (US) this Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 5:15 PM eastern time.

One of the most charming films that Mr. A ever made, the story has the distinction of being the only one that Warner Bros. specifically commissioned for George Arliss. His nine other Warners films were either based on his stage successes or were remakes of his silent films.

GA with Dudley Digges, who was once Mr. A’s stage manager:

Ernest Pascal provided the story and spent time with Mr. A at St. Margaret’s Bay near Dover working on it. Later, Mr. A wrote that he was happy to find that much of the charm of St. Margaret’s was reflected in the film. A humorous and poignant story, Mr. A plays a reluctant king who years earlier was forced into a marriage of state and whose marriage at the time was annulled.

GA with O.P. Heggie. Notice the microphone above Mr. A’s head:
The jacket today:

Abdicating in the face of revolution, the king tries to pick up where he left off 20 years earlier with his former wife and his now-grown daughter. An adult story in the true sense of the term, THE KING’S VACATION deserves to be much better known so please grab this opportunity to see it or record it. You won’t be disappointed!

Published in: on December 2, 2018 at 2:39 PM  Comments (2)  

Arliss Alert! THE KING’S VACATION (1933) Tuesday, Sept. 27 on TCM at 6:30 AM EDT

Arliss Alert! THE KING’S VACATION (1933)
– starring George Arliss, Patricia Ellis, Dick Powell, Florence Arliss, Marjorie Gateson and Dudley Digges.

TCM (US) Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:30 AM EDT
An Ernest Paschal story written especially for Mr. A showing that you can’t go home again, or can you?



Arl Digges2-Super Final

Published in: on September 23, 2016 at 8:29 PM  Comments (2)  

The King’s Vacation

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:

Arliss is King Phillip, and a reluctant king at that. Dudley Digges plays the Lord Chamberlain. In real life, Digges had been Arliss’s stage manager in earlier days before he turned to acting.

An assassination attempt convinces Phillip to abdicate. That’s O.P. Heggie as his valet. Arliss and Heggie last performed together in a World War I Bond fundraising play called OUT THERE in 1917.

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.

Helen yearns for the palaces she never had and wants a tiara for her birthday gift from Phillip.

We interrupt this story to bring you a production shot. Arliss confers with the wardrobe mistress while an assistant director (seated back to camera) awaits the outcome:

On a shopping trip to the city, Phillip runs into his ex-Queen Wilhelmina. She invites him to tea.

Phillip and Helen come to realize that life has changed them in different ways and they are not the same people they were 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.

Finally, a bit of newspaper publicity never hurt a movie:

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 11:03 PM  Leave a Comment  
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