The Exile (1947 film)

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The Exile
The Exile poster.jpg
Directed by Max Ophüls (as Max Opuls)
Produced by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Written by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Based on His Majesty, the King: Being the Chronicle of Certain Hours, in the Ill-Starred Life of Charles the Second of England, During the Period of His Exile in Flanders with Those of the Faithful That Fled from the Despot, Oliver Cromwell, the Which Have Received of on Account in the History of His Time
1926 novel
by Cosmo Hamilton
Starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
María Montez
Rita Corday (as Paule Croset)
Music by Frank Skinner
Cinematography Franz Planer
Edited by Ted J. Kent
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • October 17, 1947 (1947-10-17) (U.S.)
Running time
95 or 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,774,990[1]

The Exile (1947) is a adventure romantic film directed by Max Ophüls,[2] and produced, written by, and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.. Rita Corday (billed as "Paule Croset") played the romantic interest. According to Robert Osborne, the primary host of Turner Classic Movies, María Montez had a stipulation in her contract that she had to have top billing in any film in which she appeared, so her name comes first in the opening credits, despite her secondary role. The movie is based on the novel His Majesty, the King: A Romantic Love Chase of the Seventeenth Century by Cosmo Hamilton.


In 1660, Charles Stuart (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.), deposed as king of England by Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads, is in exile in the Netherlands with a few loyalists, awaiting the right opportunity to return. Whilst bartering in a local marketplace, he meets Katie (Rita Corday), a Dutch farm owner and flower seller.

When unrest in England presents both opportunity and danger, Charles's chief advisor, Sir Edward Hyde (Nigel Bruce), recommends he hide somewhere, neither too close for Roundhead assassins to find him, nor too far for news to reach him of further developments. Charles, without revealing his royal identity, persuades Katie to take him on as a farm hand. The two soon fall in love.

During his stay, Charles encounters an actor named Dick Pinner (Robert Coote) who is posing as him; the imposter stays at Katie's inn. Shortly afterward, there arrives another guest, Countess Anbella de Courteuil (María Montez), an old lover of Charles's and an emissary from King Louis of France. She presents Charles with a gift from Louis, a music box. Knowing that Katie owes 3000 guilders to her cousin, Jan (Otto Waldis), Charles has the music box sold and pays off the debt without her knowledge. Katie becomes jealous of Anbella and dismisses Charles. However, when she learns of his generosity from a gracious, departing Anbella, she takes him back.

Meanwhile, English Colonel Ingram (Henry Daniell) has been given the mission of assassinating the king. He tracks Charles to his hiding place. Charles escapes from Ingram's men, but they follow Katie and trap him in a windmill. After a sword fight, he kills Ingram, and his followers come to the rescue. Sir Edward informs him that Parliament has offered him back his throne. To take the crown, however, Charles has to leave Katie; Charles resists the idea, but Sir Edward reminds him of his duty, and Katie of what he can do for his people, and the two star-crossed lovers sadly part.

The film's original ending, preferred by Ophüls, was a bit longer than the one shown in the United States. The shorter version ends with Charles leaving for England, while the longer has a further scene in which two courtiers casually discuss a plaque that is erected to his stay.



This was Max Ophüls first film in Hollywood, after he was fired from his initial project, Vendetta, due to disagreements with producer Howard Hughes.

Fairbanks, Jr., a well-known anglophile, had enjoyed Cosmo Hamilton's book and sought to make the film as a tribute to his father Douglas Fairbanks, a star of swashbuckler films of the silent period. The film was the first of three independent films Fairbanks was to produce - the others being a big screen version of Terry and the Pirates, and a film called Happy Go Lucky.[3][4]

Ophüls was recommended to Fairbanks by Robert Siodmak, the well-known director at the time of The Killers.

The film was produced by Universal-International Pictures, and while the initial plan was for the film to be made in Technicolor, budget constraints meant that the movie had to be shot in black and white. Though the studio was initially concerned by Ophüls unorthodox filming methods, preferring to film in long takes full of complex camera movements, they eventually warmed to his filmmaking techniques and formed a good relationship. Due to this being his first American film, Ophüls was paid $22,600, compared to the usual $75,000 or more that established Hollywood directors commanded.[5]


Publicity downplayed Montez's contribution leading to her suing the studio.[6]

The film initially performed well at the box office, but then suffered after the release of Captain from Castile and wound up losing money.[7]


  1. ^ Bacher, Lutz. Max Ophüls in the Hollywood Studios. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 71. 
  2. ^ "The Exile". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Edwin Schallert (20 June 1946). "'Exile' to Head Doug's Independent Program". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ "Fairbanks Agrees to Make 3 Films: Actor and International Sign Production Deal--He Will Have Lead in 'The Exile' Laraine Day as Alice Adams Of Local Origin". The New York Times. 20 June 1946. 
  5. ^ Bacher, Lutz. Max Ophüls in the Hollywood Studios. p. 64. 
  6. ^ The Exile at Maria Montez Fan Page
  7. ^ Article on film at Turner Classic Movies accessed 10 January 2014

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