Hollywood Studios Year-by-Year – Paramount – 1938: IF I WERE KING and THE BUCCANEER


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For Paramount 1938 we have two semi-comedic, quasi-historical tales of charming rogues, If I Were King (directed by Frank Lloyd, with a screenplay by Preston Sturges), starring Ronald Colman as medieval bohemian poet Francois Villon, and The Buccaneer (directed by frenemy of the podcast Cecil B. DeMille), starring Fredric March as Louisiana pirate and key figure in the Battle of New Orleans, Jean Lafitte - but perhaps more notable for the comedic chemistry of Akim Tamiroff and Hungarian cabaret star Franciska Gaal. We discuss If I Were King as a New Deal/French Revolution allegory all-in-one and possible source of future Sturgean explorations of wealth inequality in America; and early 20th century leftist mythologization of Andrew Jackson and weird ambivalence towards the idea of America in The Buccaneer.

Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s: IF I WERE KING [dir. Frank Lloyd]

0h 32m 13s: THE BUCCANEER [dir. Cecil B. DeMille]

Studio Film Capsules provided The Paramount Story by John Douglas Eames

Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler


* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s

* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)

* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.

* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project!

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