Slapstick 2018

The Vagabond Queen U

The Vagabond Queen

Betty Balfour was at her brilliant best as the star of this 1929 British comedy directed by Géza von Bolváry, playing a young woman who takes the place of a Princess who is the target of an assassination attempt with hilarious consequences.

Our diminutive heroine Sally (Balfour) is a serving girl, posing as a princess - a harmless deception that blossoms into big-time trouble when she's forced to go through a coronation. Adding to Sally’s travails is the presence of a comic-strip assassin who intends to bump off Her Royal Highness. Luckily, Sally's boyfriend comes to the rescue, but for a while he's more hindrance than help.

Betty Balfour was referred to as “Britain’s Queen of Happiness”, the popular screen actress was most widely known for her Cockney flower girl character, ‘Squibs.’ Yet despite appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Champagne (1928), Balfour never made the move to Hollywood and her career was largely comprised of British and European films. Her star turn in The Vagabond Queen, dodging anarchist bombs and bullets on the way to her Ruritanian coronation, is surely one of her finest.

With an introduction by comedian Lucy Porter.