The King's Thief
|The King's Thief|
|Directed by||Robert Z. Leonard|
|Produced by||Edwin H. Knopf|
|Written by||Robert Hardy Andrews (Story)
|Music by||Miklós Rózsa|
|Edited by||John McSweeney, Jr.|
The King's Thief is a 1955 swashbuckling CinemaScope adventure film directed by Robert Z. Leonard. Released on August 5, 1955, the film takes place in London at the time of Charles II and stars Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven, George Sanders and Roger Moore.
James (Niven), the Duke of Brampton and the richest man in England, is so trusted by King Charles II (Sanders), he is able to have two of the King's loyal friends executed for treason. The second is the father of Lady Mary (Blyth). She travels from France to London to seek justice. While there, she meets Michael Dermott (Purdom), a soldier who fought to restore Charles to the throne.
He and many others were never paid for their services, unbeknownst to the King. He therefore turned highwayman. He and his comrades rob the Duke and come into possession of the Duke's notebook. In it are listed twelve rich and powerful people, as well as details of their possessions. Two names are crossed out; it does not take long for Michael to realize that the other ten are in peril for their lives. Michael first tries to blackmail the Duke, but without much success. A fence named Simon betrays his hiding place. Michael and his comrade Jack (Moore) escape from the Duke's soldiers, though Michael is wounded in the shoulder. Adventure abounds as the Duke tries to retrieve his property before it can be used against him.
- Ann Blyth ... Lady Mary
- Edmund Purdom ... Michael Dermott
- David Niven ... James - Duke of Brampton
- George Sanders ... Charles II
- Roger Moore ... Jack
- John Dehner ... Captain Herrick
- Sean McClory... Sheldon
- Tudor Owen ... Simon
- Melville Cooper ... Henry Wynch
- Alan Mowbray ... Sir Gilbert Talbot
- Rhys Williams ... Turnkey
- Joan Elan ... Charity Fell
- Charles Davis ... Apothecary
- Ashley Cowan ... Skene
- Ian Wolfe ... Fell
- Paul Cavanagh ... Sir Edward Scott
- Lillian Kemble-Cooper ... Mrs. Fell
- Isobel Elsom ... Mrs. Bennett
- Milton Parsons ... Adam Urich
- Jacob Hall ... Lord Layton
- Queenie Leonard ... Apothecary's Wife
- Owen McGiveney ... Hoskins
- Robert Dix ... Husky
- Michael Dugan ... Husky
- James Logan ... Guard
- Jimmy Aubrey ... Little Man (uncredited)
- Leonard Carey ... Servant (uncredited)
- Leslie Denison ... Beadle (voice) (uncredited)
- Ronald Green ... Hired Swordsman (uncredited)
- Peter Hansen ... Isaac Newton (uncredited)
- Ramsay Hill ... Lord (uncredited)
- Charles Keane ... Guard (uncredited)
- Keith McConnell ... Usher (uncredited)
- John Monaghan ... Shaddy (uncredited)
- Matt Moore ... Gentleman (uncredited)
- Clive Morgan ... Captain of Guards (uncredited)
- Vesey O'Davoren ... Courier (uncredited)
- Gordon Richards ... Courier (uncredited)
- Lewis L. Russell ... Gentleman (uncredited)
- Gilchrist Stuart ... Clerk (uncredited)
- Trevor Ward ... Perspiring Man (uncredited)
- Trude Wyler ... Celestine (uncredited)
The film was based on a story by Christopher Knopf, and was produced by his father Edwin. Robert Taylor and then Stewart Granger were at first announced as the star. Eventually the lead was given to Edmund Purdom who MGM were building into a star at the time.
Michael Wilding was going to play the villain before being replaced by David Niven.
According to MGM records the film earned only $478,000 in the US and Canada and $1,071,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $707,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Granger Awarded 'King's Thief' Lead Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Apr 1953: A2.
- Pryor, Thomas (1 Feb 1954). "METRO STRESSING CINEMASCOPE USE: Five of Eight Films to Be Done in April and May Set for Wide Screen". New York Times. p. 19.
- Schallert, Edwin (3 Sep 1954). "Wilding Soon to Delve Into Villainy; New Patty Andrews Film Charted". Los Angeles Times. p. B7.