Tower of London (1939)

92 mins | Drama | 17 November 1939

Director:

Rowland V. Lee

Writer:

Robert N. Lee

Producer:

Rowland V. Lee

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Editor:

Edward Curtiss

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
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HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , Universal borrowed Ian Hunter from M-G-M to appear in this picture. Another item in HR adds that Universal was planning to borrow Alan Hale from Warners, but Hale's participation in the final film is unconfirmed. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Ernie Adams, Harry Cording, C. Montague Shaw, Ed Brady, Ivan Simpson, Stanley Blystone, Nigel de Brulier , Holmes Herbert, Dick Alexander and Jack Smith. Other films based on the life of Richard III are the 1912 Sterling Film Co. production Richard III , directed by James Keene and starring Frederick Warde (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.3710) and the 1962 United Artists release of an Admiral Production titled Tower of London , directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.5143). In 1956, Laurence Olivier and Anthony Bushell directed the British film Richard III , in which Olivier also starred as the ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , Universal borrowed Ian Hunter from M-G-M to appear in this picture. Another item in HR adds that Universal was planning to borrow Alan Hale from Warners, but Hale's participation in the final film is unconfirmed. Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Ernie Adams, Harry Cording, C. Montague Shaw, Ed Brady, Ivan Simpson, Stanley Blystone, Nigel de Brulier , Holmes Herbert, Dick Alexander and Jack Smith. Other films based on the life of Richard III are the 1912 Sterling Film Co. production Richard III , directed by James Keene and starring Frederick Warde (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.3710) and the 1962 United Artists release of an Admiral Production titled Tower of London , directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ; F6.5143). In 1956, Laurence Olivier and Anthony Bushell directed the British film Richard III , in which Olivier also starred as the lead. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Nov 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Nov 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
21 Nov 39
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Sep 39
p. 47.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Nov 39
p. 43.
New York Times
12 Dec 39
p. 37.
Variety
22 Nov 39
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Rowland V. Lee Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Background photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
[Sd] tech
PRODUCTION MISC
Fencing instructor
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 November 1939
Production Date:
11 August--early October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9248
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5819
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother and successor to the British throne, is determined to take a short cut to the crown. First, he arranges for John Wyatt, who is in love with Lady Alice Barton and is a cousin of Queen Elizabeth, to be exiled to France. Next, he has the weakling King Henry VI slain by Mord, the court executioner. With the aid of Mord, he also puts to death the Duke of Clarence, who stands in his way to the throne. Unaware of his brother's treachery, King Edward IV, on his deathbed, names Richard as protector for the boy king Edward and his brother. To prevent Richard's mad ascension to the throne, Wyatt returns to England and steals the royal treasure, but before he can bestow it upon Richard's rival, Henry Tudor, Wyatt is caught and imprisoned. With the help of the Queen and Alice, John escapes with the treasure to France and Henry Tudor. In revenge, Richard has Mord murder the young ruler and his brother. Richard's reign of terror is ended, however, when Henry Tudor returns triumphantly to France with his troops and slays both the maniacal Richard and Mord, his minister of ... +


Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother and successor to the British throne, is determined to take a short cut to the crown. First, he arranges for John Wyatt, who is in love with Lady Alice Barton and is a cousin of Queen Elizabeth, to be exiled to France. Next, he has the weakling King Henry VI slain by Mord, the court executioner. With the aid of Mord, he also puts to death the Duke of Clarence, who stands in his way to the throne. Unaware of his brother's treachery, King Edward IV, on his deathbed, names Richard as protector for the boy king Edward and his brother. To prevent Richard's mad ascension to the throne, Wyatt returns to England and steals the royal treasure, but before he can bestow it upon Richard's rival, Henry Tudor, Wyatt is caught and imprisoned. With the help of the Queen and Alice, John escapes with the treasure to France and Henry Tudor. In revenge, Richard has Mord murder the young ruler and his brother. Richard's reign of terror is ended, however, when Henry Tudor returns triumphantly to France with his troops and slays both the maniacal Richard and Mord, his minister of death. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.