Release date1 October 1932 Based onstage musical by George Wallace WriterC.J. Dennis (adaptation), George Wallace (story) Initial releaseAugust 26, 1932 (Melbourne) CastGeorge Wallace, Donalda Warne, Frank Tarrant Story byGeorge Wallace, C. J. Dennis Similar moviesThe Pirate Movie (1982), The Sapphires (2012), George Wallace appears in His Royal Highness and Harmony Row
His royal highness 1932 comedy
His Royal Highness is a 1932 Australian musical film directed by F. W. Thring, also known as His Loyal Highness (Australia alternative title and title in the United Kingdom), starring George Wallace in his feature film debut. It was the first Australian film musical.
Tommy Dodds (George Wallace) is a stage hand who has a crush on Molly. He is knocked unconscious and dreams he is the King of Betonia. He scandalises the court by gambling with footmen and teaching his Prime Minister to roller skate, and uncovers a conspiracy by Torano and Yoiben.
The rightful heir to the throne is discovered and Tommy is no longer king. He wake up from his dream and sees that Molly is interested in someone else.
George Wallace as Tommy Dodds / King of Betonia
Byrl Walkley as Yoiben
Frank Tarrant as Hozzan
Donalda Warne as Barbette
Lou Vernon as Torano
Marshall Crosby as Alfam
John Fernside as Giuseppe
John Dobbie as Jim
Nell Taylor as Molly
Clem Milton as Prime Minister
Edwin Brett as Asher Marmaduke
The film was based on a stage show of two acts and seven scenes which Wallace had written and appeared in the 1920s. It was one of a series of "revusicals" written by Wallace during this period.
Tommy Dodd is discovered working at a New York pie stall by Alfam and Torano from the European kingdom of Betonia. They are looking for the missing heir to the throne and decide Tommy is it. They ship him off to Betonia, which is located on the Adriatic, where he is acclaimed heir. He is placed under the control of Yioben, an elderly female charged with training him in the royal ways. Tommy eventually discovers that he is not the true heir and another member of court is. He leaves Betonia, but with enough money to buy his own pie stall.
Wallace collaborated on the script with C. J. Dennis. Filming began in February 1932. It was shot at Efftee's studio at His Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne. The set of the royal palace in Betonia cost £7,000.
Donalda Warne was an emerging stage star, who soon afterwards went to Britain to seek fame. Composer Alaric Howitt was from Melbourne but had recently spent two years working in America.
Raymond Longford later claimed he worked on the movie.
Despite some unenthusiastic reviews the film was a popular success at the box office, launching George Wallace as a film star.
Thring sold the film to Britain along with Diggers (1931) and The Sentimental Bloke (1932) and some shorts for £100,000. Of these, His Royal Highness proved the most popular in Britain, where it was widely screened, in reportedly over 1000 cinemas. It also received good reviews from the English trade papers, which had previously been critical of On Our Selection. It also enjoyed more popularity at the box office.
After World War II Pat Hanna bought the rights to distribute this and some other Efftee films and enjoyed some success.