In June 1944, twelve Japanese seaman are stranded on an abandoned-and-forgotten island called An-ta-han for seven years. The island's only inhabitants are the overseer of the abandoned ... See full summary »
Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
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Josef von Sternberg
Gustav von Seyffertitz
Notable for starring Grace Moore, being directed by Josef Von Sternberg and having tunes by none other than violin virtuoso and composer Fritz Kreisler, 'The King Steps Out' is still an enchanting and very entertaining film in its own right.
Its weak point is the story, which is very slight and occasionally veers on the wrong side of absurd. Herman Bing's role is also a little over-exposed, and while Fritz Kreisler's songs are lovely, lushly orchestrated and full of energy and pathos the only ones that really have unforgettable staying power are "Stars in My Eyes" and "What Shall Remain" (there's absolutely nothing wrong with them, they just don't have the wow factor).
'The King Steps Out' is a gorgeous-looking film though, with sumptuous period detail and photography that really shimmers. The script is heart-warming, light-footed and smart, with Walter Connolly and especially Herman Bing (did mention about him being over-exposed but still loved the performance) providing some scene-stealing moments, Bing especially delighting by facial expressions, use of voice and body language.
Sternberg directs more than competently, personally didn't think any lack of trust in the material came through, and the energy and enchanting charm 'The King Steps Out' exudes in every frame makes it such an easy film to like. Moore proves to be a graceful leading lady, beautiful in voice and a deft comedienne, while Franchet Tone is elegantly charming. Their chemistry is sweet and wholly natural.
All in all, slight but enchanting. Moore may be the main attraction, but she is certainly not the only reason to see this. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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