The King On Main Street is a 1925 romantic comedy starring Adolphe Menjou and Bessie Love (whose vehicle The Matinée Idol (1928) was a particular hit at Kennington Bioscope four years ago).
The film is also known simply as The King, a direct translation of the title of the 1908 French play from which director Monta Bell adapted his screenplay. Menjou, as the titular (and fictional) European monarch, is in New York for a business deal but meets – in initially embarrassing circumstances – a beguiling young woman played by Bessie Love. It is said that a scene of her doing the Charleston did much to popularise that dance across the United States.
Bessie Love – whose career went back to D.W. Griffith in the 1910s – eventually settled in England, where she became friends with Kevin Brownlow and did much to open doors to other silent film veterans when Kevin and David Gill conducted interviews for their TV series Hollywood. Tonight’s print of The King On Main Street is from Kevin’s collection.
In the first half of the evening Professor Ian Christie will introducing a selection of short films from R.W. Paul, who was born 150 years ago.
Colin Sell will be playing for The King on Main Street, and John Sweeney will be accompanying the first half shorts.
Silent film with intertitles which may be suitable for the deaf and hard of hearing.