Long Live the King (1923)

Drama | 26 November 1923

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HISTORY

The 6 Mar 1923 FD announced Long Live the King as Jackie Coogan’s first production for Metro Pictures Corporation. The film marked the child actor’s departure from the “ragged” appearance that previously defined his film roles. According to the 12 May 1923 Motion Picture News, Coogan’s wardrobe would include the “Czarevitch’s ring,” said to be one of the Russian crown jewels. A news item in the 14 Apr 1923 Motion Picture News listed studio manager Edward Biby, financial secretary Ollie May Baker, camera assistant Robert Martin, and film editor Irene Morra as members of the production staff. The 2 Jun 1923 Motion Picture News included actors Sidney D’Albrook, George Bax, and Will Machin among the cast, and W. Van Brincken as staff research director.
       On 21 Apr 1923, Motion Picture News reported that Metro was preparing for the start of photography. The 9 Jun 1923 FD estimated the budget at $600,000. The “mythical city of Lavonia” was constructed on the Metro lot for $60,000, and was populated by approximately 3,000 background actors. Production was postponed for one week, due to a temporary shortage of background actors, as reported in the 28 Jul 1923 Motion Picture News. The shortage was blamed on three unnamed studios, whose “spectacular scenes” required a total of 7,500 background players. The 30 Jun 1923 Motion Picture News estimated a budget of $400,000 for twenty interior sets, which were designed by art director John J. Hughes to be constructed off site in sectional components as a cost-containment measure. ... More Less

The 6 Mar 1923 FD announced Long Live the King as Jackie Coogan’s first production for Metro Pictures Corporation. The film marked the child actor’s departure from the “ragged” appearance that previously defined his film roles. According to the 12 May 1923 Motion Picture News, Coogan’s wardrobe would include the “Czarevitch’s ring,” said to be one of the Russian crown jewels. A news item in the 14 Apr 1923 Motion Picture News listed studio manager Edward Biby, financial secretary Ollie May Baker, camera assistant Robert Martin, and film editor Irene Morra as members of the production staff. The 2 Jun 1923 Motion Picture News included actors Sidney D’Albrook, George Bax, and Will Machin among the cast, and W. Van Brincken as staff research director.
       On 21 Apr 1923, Motion Picture News reported that Metro was preparing for the start of photography. The 9 Jun 1923 FD estimated the budget at $600,000. The “mythical city of Lavonia” was constructed on the Metro lot for $60,000, and was populated by approximately 3,000 background actors. Production was postponed for one week, due to a temporary shortage of background actors, as reported in the 28 Jul 1923 Motion Picture News. The shortage was blamed on three unnamed studios, whose “spectacular scenes” required a total of 7,500 background players. The 30 Jun 1923 Motion Picture News estimated a budget of $400,000 for twenty interior sets, which were designed by art director John J. Hughes to be constructed off site in sectional components as a cost-containment measure. The 4 Aug 1923 Motion Picture News reported that fifty World War I veterans, all approximately six feet tall, were hired to play Coogan’s “Palace Guard.” The group was trained by J. M. Fitzmaurice, a recent graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
       On 25 Aug 1923, Motion Picture News announced the completion of principal photography the previous week. The 15 Sep 1923 Motion Picture News stated that editors were at work twenty-four hours per day, under the supervision of Irene Morra and Jackie Coogan’s father, Jack Coogan, Sr.
       Long Live the King premiered in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 27 Oct 1923 Motion Picture News. Mary Roberts Rinehart, who wrote the 1917 source novel, planned to attend, according to the 29 Sep 1923 Motion Picture News. The film opened 26 Nov 1923 to generally positive critical and public response. The film also garnered an endorsement from the Committee of the Federation of Women’s Clubs of California.
       The 1 Dec 1923 Motion Picture News reported that Metro’s “exploitation department” redesigned the popular Jackie Coogan doll to promote the film. As noted in the 22 Dec 1923 Motion Picture News, Coogan and his father hosted a free screening in Ojai, CA, as a gift to the city. On 29 Dec 1923, Motion Picture News reported that director Victor Schertzinger wrote a score for the film, which was published “as an operatic score.”
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Trade Review
28 Apr 1923
p. 1083.
Film Daily
6 Mar 1923
p. 6.
Film Daily
9 Jun 1923
p. 4.
Film Daily
9 Sep 1923
p. 15.
Film Daily
4 Nov 1923
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Nov 1923
p. 5.
Film Daily
3 Dec 1923
p. 14.
Motion Picture News
14 Apr 1923
p. 1779, 1817.
Motion Picture News
21 Apr 1923
p. 1890c.
Motion Picture News
12 May 1923
p. 2255.
Motion Picture News
2 Jun 1923
p. 2688.
Motion Picture News
30 Jun 1923
p. 3189.
Motion Picture News
21 Jul 1923
p. 327.
Motion Picture News
28 Jul 1923
p. 455.
Motion Picture News
4 Aug 1923
p. 571.
Motion Picture News
25 Aug 1923
p. 879.
Motion Picture News
15 Sep 1923
p. 1345.
Motion Picture News
29 Sep 1923
p. 1569.
Motion Picture News
27 Oct 1923
p. 1979.
Motion Picture News
3 Nov 1923
p. 2114.
Motion Picture News
10 Nov 1923
p. 2262.
Motion Picture News
24 Nov 1923
p. 2475.
Motion Picture News
1 Dec 1923
p. 2553.
Motion Picture News
22 Dec 1923
p. 2866, 2875, 2904.
Motion Picture News
29 Dec 1923
p. 2984.
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 November 1923
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: November 1923
New York: early December 1923
Production Date:
late April--late August 1923
Copyright Claimant:
Metro Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 November 1923
Copyright Number:
LP19596
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in feet):
9,364
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Crown Prince Otto of Livonia, wishing to be like an ordinary little boy, runs away with Bobby, an American playmate. The king dies, and when the prince does not appear, the people begin to rise in revolution. Finally Otto hears the death knell for the king. In his hasty return to the palace, Otto is intercepted by revolutionaries and held captive until his friend Lieutenant Nikky rescues him. He arrives at the palace in time to restore ... +


Crown Prince Otto of Livonia, wishing to be like an ordinary little boy, runs away with Bobby, an American playmate. The king dies, and when the prince does not appear, the people begin to rise in revolution. Finally Otto hears the death knell for the king. In his hasty return to the palace, Otto is intercepted by revolutionaries and held captive until his friend Lieutenant Nikky rescues him. He arrives at the palace in time to restore order. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Youth


Subject

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.