For Reel

The King’s Vacation (1933)
November 23, 2014, 3:05 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: John G. Adolfi
3 Stars
The King's VacationThe uneasy transition from royal to civilian life is spotlighted in The King’s Vacation, a mildly amusing comedy starring the esteemed George Arliss. In the early scenes, Arliss seems disinterested as he moves through his palace, having little to hope for other than a lack of appointments on his calendar. There’s a bite in his dissatisfaction with politics, and the early sequences are well-shot in that the set’s walls seem to absolutely dwarf Arliss–his disinterest in the locale makes the scale seem more ridiculous than regal. His boredom with court leads him to pursuing a childhood love who has since taken a new identity as a wealthy socialite. There are amusing reactions from Arliss when he discovers that he’s walking into the same thing that he just ran away from, but much of the drama that follows in the latter half is predictable. Regardless, Arliss’ sense of wise sensitivity makes him an unusually pleasant screen presence–he seems physically frail but strong-willed, and it is lovely to watch the genuinely affectionate way that he looks at his queen (played by his real-life wife, Florence Arliss).

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