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"A King in New York" (1957)


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A Revolution of the people has driven King Shahdow of Estrovia out of the country! The former Royal lands in New York City and takes up residence at the Ritz hotel, accompanied by what's left of his palace entourage. Then his most senior official "takes the money and runs" to South America, leaving the King without cash. What's a monarch to do? And just how foreign is the United States in the 1950's? This was part of a "Summer Under the Stars" set of films featuring Charlie Chaplin, and casts a serious eye on American culture and The Red Scare of the 1950's. Popular culture and music are put under the microscope, along with Progressive Education and TV. I (sorta) remember this era, and it is a strange planet, full of "Mad Men" and "Figures of Authority that shout you down." "King Shahdow" is more like "Adenoid Hynkel," at first, but he makes a splash as a naive TV personality. "To be or not to be, but first a word from Buzzie toothpaste."

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