|Directed by||Brian Desmond Hurst|
|Produced by||George H. Brown
Earl St. John
|Written by||Robin Estridge|
|Based on||novel A King Reluctant by Vaughan Wilkins|
|Music by||Georges Auric|
|Edited by||Peter Bezencenet|
George H. Brown Productions
|Distributed by||J. Arthur Rank|
10 October 1958 (US)
Dangerous Exile is a 1957 British historical drama film directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Louis Jourdan, Belinda Lee, Anne Heywood and Richard O'Sullivan. It concerns the fate of Louis XVII, who died in 1795 as a boy, yet was popularly believed to have escaped from his French revolutionary captors.
The Duke Philippe de Beauvais smuggles his own son into the prison cell where Louis XVII is kept. Thus Louis XVII can escape unnoticed to England. Unfortunately the aerostat, steered by Duke Philippe de Beauvais, lands accidentally on a remote island. There an American spinster, Virginia Traill, takes care of the strange child. She finds the dauphin profoundly traumatised and not interested in becoming a king. Meanwhile, Louis' uncle in Vienna has declared himself the new French king. In order to safeguard his claim on the throne, he sends assassins who shall murder the dauphin. Being unaware of the exchange, he has Richard de Beauvais killed. But now the dauphin's torturers recognise they have been deceived. Informed by a message of an English spy they send a ship to the island where the real dauphin hides. They attack the house of Virginia Traill and stop at nothing to detect the dauphin's hiding-place.
- Louis Jourdan as the Duke Philippe de Beauvais
- Belinda Lee as Virginia Traill
- Keith Michell as Colonel Saint-Gérard
- Richard O'Sullivan as Louis XVII/Richard de Beauvais
- Martita Hunt as Lady Lydia Fell
- Finlay Currie as Monsieur Patient
- Anne Heywood as Glynis
- Jean Mercure as the police chef
- Jacques Brunius as De Chassagne
- Jean Claudio as De Castres, the comrade of Philippe à Paris
- Terence Longdon : Colonel Sir Frederick Venner
The film was shot in Pinewood Studios and on location in Cornwall in 1957.
The Manchester Guardian called the film "monstrous twaddle" with "just one merit - its beautifully colored photography".
The New York Times called it "a beautifully mounted tale" which "rarely comes to life, except in the superb, effectively colored period settings... Under Brian Desmond Hurst's rather unimaginative direction, the action simply lacks sustained suspense, instead of crawling with it... The lavish, meticulous castle interiors, the sweeping, azure-tinted coastal landscapes, and the murkiness of the Paris dungeons — all these have been woven into a striking background tapestry by Jack Maxsted, the art director."
- David Sterrit, "Dangerous Exile", Turner Classic Movies accessed 26 January 2014
- Dangerous Exile at Louisjourdan.net
- EALING TEAM NEEDS A REFRESHER Our London Film Critic. The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959) [Manchester (UK)] 14 Dec 1957: 3.
- Review of film at New York Times