Dangerous Exile is a 1957 British historical drama film directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Louis Jourdan, Belinda Lee, Anne Heywood and Richard O'Sullivan. It concerns the fate of Louis XVII, who died in 1795 as a boy, yet was popularly believed to have escaped from his French revolutionary captors.
|Directed by||Brian Desmond Hurst|
|Produced by||George H. Brown|
Earl St. John
|Written by||Robin Estridge|
|Based on||novel A King Reluctant by Vaughan Wilkins|
|Music by||Georges Auric|
|Edited by||Peter Bezencenet|
Rank Organisation Film Productions
|Distributed by||J. Arthur Rank|
|12 December 1957 (UK)|
10 October 1958 (US)
In 1795, the Duke Philippe de Beauvais smuggles his own son into the prison cell where Louis XVII is kept. Thus Louis XVII can escape unnoticed to England. Unfortunately the aerostat, steered by Duke Philippe de Beauvais, lands accidentally on a remote island. There an American spinster, Virginia Traill, takes care of the strange child. She finds the dauphin profoundly traumatised and not interested in becoming a king. Meanwhile, Louis' uncle in Vienna has declared himself the new French king. In order to safeguard his claim on the throne, he sends assassins who shall murder the dauphin.
Being unaware of the exchange, he has Richard de Beauvais killed. But now the dauphin's torturers recognise they have been deceived. Informed by a message of an English spy they send a ship to the island where the real dauphin hides. They attack the house of Virginia Traill and stop at nothing to detect the dauphin's hiding-place.
- Louis Jourdan as the Duke Philippe de Beauvais
- Belinda Lee as Virginia Traill
- Keith Michell as Colonel Saint-Gérard
- Richard O'Sullivan as Louis XVII/Richard de Beauvais
- Martita Hunt as Lady Lydia Fell
- Finlay Currie as Monsieur Patient
- Anne Heywood as Glynis
- Jean Mercure as the police chef
- Jacques Brunius as De Chassagne
- Jean Claudio as De Castres, the comrade of Philippe à Paris
- Terence Longdon : Colonel Sir Frederick Venner
In February 1956 Rank announced A King Reluctant would be their expensive historical picture for the year with location filming to be done in Italy, Spain and the West Indies. Sir John Davis of Rank said "We cannot copy Hollywood's spectacular epics but we can provide good stories well-made - that is the answer to television competition."
The female lead went to Belinda Lee.
The film was shot in Pinewood Studios and on location in Cornwall in April 1957. Lee was injured when her hair caught fire during a scene. Vyvyan Holland, son of Oscar Wilde, worked on the film as a historical adviser.
The Manchester Guardian called the film "monstrous twaddle" with "just one merit - its beautifully colored photography".
Variety called it "a historical, cloak and dagger meller with all the . typical excitements, absurdities, confusions, flashbacks, swordplay and general trimmings which invariably rear their cliche-ridden heads in such pictures. It won’t stand out in the memory of patrons as one of the best pix this year, but it will provide safe entertain¬ment at most British cinemas."
The New York Times called it "a beautifully mounted tale" which "rarely comes to life, except in the superb, effectively colored period settings... Under Brian Desmond Hurst's rather unimaginative direction, the action simply lacks sustained suspense, instead of crawling with it... The lavish, meticulous castle interiors, the sweeping, azure-tinted coastal landscapes, and the murkiness of the Paris dungeons — all these have been woven into a striking background tapestry by Jack Maxsted, the art director."
- David Sterrit, "Dangerous Exile", Turner Classic Movies accessed 26 January 2014
- Recent Novels B W. The Irish Times 13 Dec 1952: 6.
- Royal Refugee: A KING RELUCTANT. By Vaughan Wilkins. 315 pp. New York: The Macmillan Company. $3.50. Holden, Raymond. New York Times 22 Mar 1953: BR26. ,
- Mantle of Korda falls on Rank now Author: Christopher Lucas Date: Friday, Feb. 17, 1956 Publication: Daily Mail (London, England) I
- Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
- Dangerous Exile at Louisjourdan.net
- "Star's Hair Ablaze From Candle". The Canberra Times. 31 (9, 154). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 27 April 1957. p. 3. Retrieved 20 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Sir Hartley's Sister Picks Husband No. 3 Author: Paul Tanfield Date: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 1957 p 12
- EALING TEAM NEEDS A REFRESHER Our London Film Critic. The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959) [Manchester (UK)] 14 Dec 1957: 3.
- Review of film at Variety
- Review of film at The New York Times