Ambassador Bill


1h 8m 1931

Brief Synopsis

An American ambassador arrives in a small country that is being convulsed by political intrigue and civil unrest. He befriends the young boy who is to be the country's king, to ensure that the boy is prepared to take on the role and also to see that he lives long enough to assume the crown.

Film Details

Also Known As
Dollar Bill
Release Date
Nov 22, 1931
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 13 Nov 1931
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "Ambassador from the United States" by Vincent Sheean in The Saturday Evening Post (28 Jun 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,300ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

United States ambassador Bill Harper, formerly a cattle king from Oklahoma, arrives in the Balkan country of Sylvania amidst an outburst of revolutionary street fighting. Battles have been erupting in Sylvania with great frequency since King Lothar abdicated and left the country because he thought his wife, Queen Vania, had been unfaithful to him. Although nominally headed by Lothar's eight-year-old son Paul, the country is actually ruled by Prince de Polikoff, the prime minister, who plotted to get rid of Lothar. Bill's defiance of court etiquette does not bother the queen or Paul, but he infuriates de Polikoff and the first secretary of the U.S. legation, Elton Montgomery. De Polikoff and Montgomery want to prevent Bill from negotiating a commercial treaty with Sylvania because the interests they represent have gotten rich selling supplies to Sylvania. After Lothar, who has entered Sylvania disguised as Bill's pilot, visits Vania to try to reconcile with her, she allows him to kiss her but then orders him to leave. He hides at Bill's house and, with Bill's connivance, escapes de Polikoff's sentries. Bill wins Paul's affection after teaching him baseball, sportsmanship and lasso tricks. During the visit of the pompous U.S. Senator Pillsbury, Bill is caught in a compromising position with de Polikoff's blonde cohort, Countess Ilka. He is asked to resign, but before he is to leave, Lothar announces plans for a revolution. While the fighting goes on, Bill and the senator are captured and ordered to be shot. They escape to a cafe, where the senator gets drunk and, as senators are apt to do, makes a speech. Meanwhile, Paul, anxious to lead his troops, escapes his bedroom with a toy airgun, which Bill gave him. Bill sees Paul through a window and, just as an enemy is about to fire on the boy, lassoes and rescues him. De Polikoff's forces are beaten, the treaty is signed, and the queen and Lothar, through mutual worry over Paul, are reconciled.

Film Details

Also Known As
Dollar Bill
Release Date
Nov 22, 1931
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 13 Nov 1931
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the short story "Ambassador from the United States" by Vincent Sheean in The Saturday Evening Post (28 Jun 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,300ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Dollar Bill. The film was re-issued by Twentieth Century-Fox on October 16, 1936. Will Rogers also played the role of a U.S. ambassador to an imaginary kingdom in the two-reel 1924 film A Truthful Liar, produced by Hal Roach and distributed by Pathé.