King's Rhapsody (film)

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King's Rhapsody
King's Rhapsody - Poster.jpg
1955 theatrical poster
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Written byPamela Bower
Christopher Hassall
Additional dialogue:
A.P. Herbert
Based onmusical King's Rhapsody by Ivor Novello
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Starring Errol Flynn
Anna Neagle
Patrice Wymore
Cinematography Max Greene
Edited by Reginald Beck
Everest Pictures (Herbert Wilcox)
Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation (UK)
United Artists (US)
Release dates
  • 26 October 1955 (1955-10-26)(London, UK)

Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£403,718 [1]
Box office£90,884 (UK) [2]

King's Rhapsody is a 1955 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Errol Flynn and Patrice Wymore. Wymore was Errol Flynn's wife at the time of filming. [3] It was based on the successful stage musical King's Rhapsody by Ivor Novello. [4]



Prince Richard of Laurentia is summoned from exile with his mistress Marta (Anna Neagle) in Monte Carlo, to resume Royal duties following the death of his father, the King (Finlay Currie). He is charged to marry Princess Cristiane of Norseland (Patrice Wymore) and produce an heir to the throne. Although Richard's affections are with his mistress, he soon finds his heart warming to his new wife.


Production notes

The film was the first of what was meant to be a six-film deal over three years worth £2,500,000. [5] The intention was that Flynn and Neagle would form a team along the lines of Neagle's pairing with Michael Wilding, starting with The White Witch of Rose Hall in Jamaica. [6] However this was the last of the two movies they made together.

The budget comprised of £227,680 for British costs, plus Errol Flynn's fee, plus a Yugoslavian contribution towards location costs. [1]


The film was not a success. [7]

Filmink said that "at times King’s Rhapsody feels like an amateur theatre production, with the stars “acting” but with enthusiasm." [8]

In Errol Flynn: The Life and Career, Thomas McNulty noted, "Shot in CinemaScope, the colorful costumes were wonderful to look at but unfortunately the actors wearing those costumes, particularly Flynn, are wooden and unconvincing," and went on to write that he found the film "merely dull," and that "The plot is a disaster disguised as a screenplay"; [9] while Allmovie considered the film "one of the few Neagle/Wilcox failures." [3]


The film underperformed at the box office. [10] A condensed 45-minute version, taken from the film's soundtrack, was broadcast as a BBC Radio play in September 1955. [11]

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  1. 1 2 Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 359
  2. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p506
  3. 1 2 "King's Rhapsody (1955) - Herbert Wilcox - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. Ortolano, Scott (14 December 2017). Popular Modernism and Its Legacies: From Pop Literature to Video Games. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN   978-1501325120 via Google Books.
  5. "Errol Flynn's Big Film Deal". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 15 October 1954. p. 3. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  6. "FINCH'S BIG CHANCE IN U.K. FILM". The Sunday Times . Perth: National Library of Australia. 16 January 1955. p. 38. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  7. Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press. pp. 157–158. ISBN   9780198159346.
  8. Vagg, Stephen (30 November 2019). "The Films of Errol Flynn: Part 5 – On the Bum, 1950-1955". Filmink.
  9. McNulty, Thomas (25 November 2014). Errol Flynn: The Life and Career. McFarland. ISBN   9781476609720 via Google Books.
  10. Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer & Clifford McCarty, The Films of Errol Flynn, Citadel Press, 1969 p 206
  11. "On Stage, London: King's Rhapsody radio adaptation (1955)". BBC Genome.