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Monday, November 19, 2012

The King's Thief (1955)

A duplicitous Duke (David Niven) in the confidence of King Charles II (George Sanders) has targeted the wealthy loyal subjects to the King by accusing them of treason against the King and confiscating their lands after their executions. The daughter (Ann Blyth) of such a victim strives to expose the Duke to the King but how? This routine swashbuckler cranked out by the MGM dream factory seems almost an afterthought for all the lack of enthusiasm displayed on the screen. Physically, it's got the lush and elegant MGM gloss (even MGM's programmers got the full treatment) but the moth eaten narrative seems dug out and dusted off from somebody's script bin. MGM had been trying to make the uncharismatic Edmund Purdom, the king's thief of the title, a viable leading man in such fare as THE STUDENT PRINCE and THE PRODIGAL but they gave up after this last try. The film has one of the dullest prison escapes I've seen in a movie though the swordplay is decent enough. Walter Plunkett's costumes are eye candy and Miklos Rozsa tries to whip up some excitement with his frantic score. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. With Roger Moore, John Dehner, Isobel Elsom, Sean McClory, Alan Mowbray, Rhys Williams and Melville Cooper.

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