4 user 1 critic

King for a Night (1933)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 9 January 1934 (USA)
A prizefighter is convicted of a murder that was actually committed by his sister.


Kurt Neumann


William Anthony McGuire (story and screenplay), Scott Pembroke (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chester Morris ... Bud Williams
Helen Twelvetrees ... Lillian Williams
Alice White ... Evelyn
John Miljan ... Walter Douglas
Grant Mitchell ... Rev. John Williams
Frank Albertson ... Dick Morris
George Meeker ... John Williams
Warren Hymer ... Goofy
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Maxie (as Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom)
John Sheehan ... Manny
George E. Stone ... Hymie
Harland Tucker Harland Tucker ... Nick Merkle
Harry Galfund Harry Galfund ... The Champ
Clarence Wilson ... Mr. Whistler
Dorothy Granger ... Dora


A prizefighter is convicted of a murder that was actually committed by his sister.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fast life was what he wanted and that's what he got (Print Ad- Buffalo Courier-Express, ((Buffalo NY)) 13 February 1934)


Action | Crime | Drama | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

En la gloria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

This one takes some time to get going...
14 November 2010 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...but ultimately it is worth waiting for it to build up steam. The first half hour you'll literally be asking yourself - Is this story ever going anywhere? - but indeed it does.

It's about the ne'er do well son, Bud (Chester Morris), of a respected minister, the Reverend John Williams (Grant Mitchell). Everyone seems so worried about Bud that they don't notice that daughter Lillian (Helen Twelvetrees) has a wild streak herself, mainly because she has a steady beau of which the family approves.

After knocking a professional fighter out with one punch during a crap game one day, it is proposed to Bud that he go professional. He wins one local fight, and this makes him think the whole thing is a piece of cake. When he hits the road he finds out different, and pretty soon Bud is back to earning his living as a soda jerk while lying to the folks back home about his success. Lillian follows Bud to New York, takes a job in a chorus, and takes up with a rich man who agrees to fix it so that Bud can fight his way to a championship, just as long as she agrees to be his mistress. At the same time Bud has gotten involved with a brassy chorus girl himself (Evelyn, played by Alice White). Bud wants to marry Evelyn, unaware that she is being kept by a married man who wants things to stay the way they are. How does all of this work out? I'll let you watch and find out.

I know this plot seems to tread lots of familiar precode ground, but the conclusion is truly unique, and the final scene is touching and even positive in a way you would not expect. Chester Morris is very good here as the smart guy who turns out to be not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, and is at the center of this film, but not to be overlooked is the excellent job that Grant Mitchell does as Bud's father. He's very understanding of Bud, and it turns out part of his sympathy is a because of a secret about his past that he's kept from his children all of these years, one that he reveals at the end.

I'd recommend this one for fans of the precodes in general and Chester Morris in particular.

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