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The King on Main Street, also known as The King,[3] is a 1925 American silent romantic comedy film directed by Monta Bell and starring Adolphe Menjou and Bessie Love. The film was adapted for the screen by Bell, and was based on the play The King, Leo Ditrichstein's adaptation of the 1908 French play Le Roi by Gaston Arman de Caillavet, Robert de Flers, and Emmanuel Arène. It was produced by Famous Players-Lasky and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

The King on Main Street
Magazine advertisement
Directed byMonta Bell
Written byMonta Bell (adaptation)
Douglas Zoty (scenario)
Based on
Produced byAdolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Famous Players-Lasky
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 25, 1925 (1925-10-25) (U.S.)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The King on Main Street includes two sequences filmed in early two-strip Technicolor.[4] These sequences, along with a print of the film, still exist.[3] The film is in the public domain and is available on the Internet Archive.[5]


Adolphe Menjou, Bessie Love and Oscar Shaw in The King on Main Street
Adolphe Menjou, Bessie Love and Oscar Shaw in The King on Main Street

King Serge IV of Molvania (Menjou) comes to Manhattan to conduct business with Arthur Trent (Kilgour), but instead goes to Coney Island, where he meets Gladys Humphreys (Love) and John Rockland (Shaw). John, not knowing the king's royal identity, invites him to his home at Little Falls, New Jersey. The king falls in love with Gladys, but Trent catches them in a compromising situation, and blackmails the king into completing their business deal. The king leaves the United States and Gladys forever.[6][7][8][9]



The film was partially filmed on location in New York, New Jersey, and Coney Island.[2]

Bessie Love's performance of the Charleston in this film popularized the dance within the United States.[10][11]


The film did well at the box office, particularly in small town America.[2]

See also


  1. "Menjou Back; to Begin 'The King' for Lasky". Exhibitors Herald. July 11, 1925. p. 56.
  2. Everson, William K. (November 24, 1964), "1925: Two Sophisticated Comedies", The Theodore Huff Memorial Film Society
  3. Bennett, Carl (March 21, 2015). "Progressive Silent Film List: The King on Main Street". Silent Era.
  4. Pardy, George T. (November 7, 1925). "The King on Main Street". Motion Picture News.
  5. The King on Main Street at the Internet Archive
  6. "Amusements: Bessie Love at State". Reading Eagle. November 14, 1925.
  7. "Very Interesting Romance Unfolded in Story in Which Famous Star Appears at Colonial for Two Days". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Bluefield, West Virginia. November 8, 1925. p. 8.
  8. Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. pp. 406–7. OCLC 664500075.
  9. Descriptive Catalogue of Kodascope Library Motion Pictures. New York: Kodascope Libraries, Inc. 1932. p. 187.
  10. "Crimson Playgoer: The Metropolitan Opens its Doors to an Unlimited Public and a Very Fair Opening Attraction". The Harvard Crimson. October 21, 1925.
  11. "The King on Main Street". Theatre Magazine. January 1926.




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