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The King's Thief

The King's Thief(1955)

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The opening credits include the following written prologue: "When Charles II was King of England it was said-He never spoke a foolish word nor listened to a wise one. This is the story of how a thief-more foolish than wise-finally made him listen." The Hollywood Reporter review noted that the actual quote, by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, was: "He never says a foolish thing nor ever does a wise one." According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Hugo Fregonese was the film's original director, but production was halted after eleven days when Fregonese was stricken with a virus. Director Robert Z. Leonard, who had recently gone into retirement, was called to take over. The King's Thief was Leonard's last film for M-G-M, after thirty-one years with the studio. A January 12, 1955 Daily Variety news item stated that Fregonese would not return to the film when he recovered because of disagreements with producer Edwin H. Knopf.
       A September 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Michael Wilding was at that time to be Edmund Purdom's co-star. January 1955 Hollywood Reporter news items add Barry Regan, Julian Smith, Saul Gorss, Chuck Hayward, LeRoy Johnson, Tap Canutt, Joe Canutt, Phil Schumacher, Clint Sharp, John Eppers, Danny Sands, Curly Gibson, Helen Morgan and Mary Hawkins to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. George Sanders, who played King Charles II in the film, also portrayed Charles II in the 1947 Twentieth Century-Fox film Forever Amber (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50). Screenwriter Christopher Knopf was the son of producer Edwin H. Knopf.