The Royal Bed (January 15, 1931)

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Mary Astor in The Royal Bed
 

Released on January 15, 1931: (running time 1 hour and 12 minutes) King Eric VIII faces revolt from his subjects, an evil General who wants to take over, a daughter in love with the son of a plumber, and his biggest challenge . . . Queen Martha.

Produced by William LeBaron

Directed by Lowell Sherman

The Actors: Lowell Sherman (King Eric VIII), Mary Astor (Princess Anne), Anthony Bushell (Freddie Granton), Hugh Trevor (Crow Prince William of Grec), Nance O'Neil (Queen Martha), Robert Warwick (General Northrup, Prime Minister), Gilbert Emery (Phipps), Alan Roscoe (Marquis of Birten), Frederick Burt (Doctor Fellman, leader of the revolution), J. Carrol Naish (Laker), Nancy Lee Blaine (lady in waiting), Lita Chevret (lady in waiting), Desmond Roberts (Major Blent), Mischa Auer (Grecian Ambassador), Francis X. Bushman Jr. (guest at Grand Ball), Eric Mayne (guest at Grand Ball)

 

The Law of Contact

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All the King's Men, vs. The Queen Who Rules

In 1923, the average wage in the U.S. was around twenty-five dollars a week. A brand-new Ford automobile cost $290. Seventeen-year-old auburn-haired Mary Astor was earning $500 a week in Hollywood. Her parents named her Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, but the Hollywood studios re-named her Mary Astor. She was soon earning $2,500 a week, but her parents kept all the money, only giving her a $5 a week allowance. She finally got control of her income when she was twenty-six years old, and when her parents sued her, she agreed to give them a thousand dollars a month for as long as they would live.

By the time sound was added to motion pictures, she was already a Hollywood star, but sound almost ended her career. Although she had a cherubic face and long, flowing auburn hair, she did not have the giggling, lilting, sexy voice of a femme fatal. Her voice was strong and steady, . . . like a man. It was thought that no beautiful woman could be successful in Hollywood with a strong and steady voice, and instead of making one movie after another continuously, her career slowed down, and her leading roles were rarer. She is best remembered for her role as the scoundrel lady in The Maltese Falcon, opposite Humphrey Bogart.

In this Royal situation comedy, she is Princess Ann, daughter of the King and Queen of a small European nation. She is deeply in love with the King’s secretary, who is the son of a plumber. The King is a good-hearted man who would gladly help her elope with the plumber’s son and leave the Royal family, but the Queen is a powerful lady, controlling not only the King, but most matters of state.

The Queen arranges a marriage between Princess Ann and the Crown Prince from a neighboring nation, and nothing can stop this marriage, which has become an official treaty between the two nations. The King, and all the King’s men, which there are surprisingly few of, will try to thwart the Queen’s marriage plans. If you know a controlling, forceful woman like this Queen, you will understand the King’s dilemma. If this were not enough, a revolution is brewing, and the kingdom itself may be at an end. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Alan Roscoe
Alan Roscoe
Alan Roscoe and Anthony Bushell
Alan Roscoe and Anthony Bushell
Alan Roscoe, Robert Warwick
Alan Roscoe, Robert Warwick
Anthony Bushell and Lowell Sherman
Anthony Bushell and Lowell Sherman
Anthony Bushell, Mary Astor
Anthony Bushell, Mary Astor
Desmond Roberts, Lowell Sherman
Desmond Roberts, Lowell Sherman
Frederick Burt, J. Carrol Naish
Frederick Burt, J. Carrol Naish
Gilbert Emery
Gilbert Emery
Gilbert Emery catches the bouquet
Gilbert Emery catches the bouquet
Hugh Trevor
Hugh Trevor
Hugh Trevor, Mary Astor
Hugh Trevor, Mary Astor
Lowell Sherman
Lowell Sherman
Lowell Sherman, Anthony Bushell, Mary Astor
Lowell Sherman, Anthony Bushell, Mary Astor
Lowell Sherman, Frederick Burt
Lowell Sherman, Frederick Burt
Lowell Sherman, Mary Astor
Lowell Sherman, Mary Astor
Lowell Sherman, Robert Warwick
Lowell Sherman, Robert Warwick
Lowell Sherman
Lowell Sherman
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor, Anthony Bushell
Mary Astor, Anthony Bushell
Mary Astor, Lowell Sherman
Mary Astor, Lowell Sherman
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer
Nance O'Neill
Nance O'Neill
Nance O'Neill, Alan Roscoe
Nance O'Neill, Alan Roscoe
Nance O'Neill, Lowell Sherman
Nance O'Neill, Lowell Sherman
Nance O'Neill
Nance O'Neill
Robert Warwick
Robert Warwick