Joseph Urban and Cosmopolitan Films

Under the Red Robe

"Under the Red Robe" was Cosmopolitan Productions Number 46.

t was directed by Alan Crosland and based on a novel by Stanley Weyman, with scenario by Bayard Veiller. The film was released on November 12, 1923. The costumes were designed by Gretl Urban.

It is held in complete form (10 reels) by the George Eastman House.

For the New York world premiere on November 24, 1923, at the Cosmopolitan Theater, Victor Herbert conducted his own overture written for the film, and Frederick Stahlberg conducted a score composed by William Frederick Peters.

From the TCM website: Gil de Bérault (John Charles Thomas) engages in a duel despite the orders of Cardinal Richelieu (Robert B. Mantell), Prime Minister of France under King Louis XIII (Ian Maclaren). To save his life, Bérault must capture Henri de Cocheforet (Otto Kruger), a suspected leader in a plot to overthrow the monarch, and bring him to the palace.

Bérault captures Cocheforet but becomes a captive of the wiles of Renée (Alma Rubens), Cocheforet's beautiful sister. He abandons his purpose and returns to the palace emptyhanded. In the meantime, the king's brother, the Duke of Orléans (William Powell), a conspirator against Richelieu, persuades the king to dismiss Richelieu. Bérault reveals Orléans's treachery; Richelieu is returned to favor, and Bérault is praised for his loyalty.

Shown here are the sets for the Cardinal's Audience Chamber, and the King's Audience Chamber.

Urban again created a Reference Scrapbook for this film, Joseph Urban Collection Box C11.

The review that appeared in The New York Times stated: "The scenes in many sequences of this film are so attractive that without much else they would be worth viewing. . . . There is an especially beautiful sequence where cavaliers are shown tackling each other in the middle of a shallow, fast-running brook, and other scenes in a forest, which might just as well be that of Fontainebleau. . . . The costumes in this film are especially good. . . . This picture, like many others, may have outstanding failings, but the costumes, the exteriors and some of the sets make it a production that is satisfying on many points."

The film has also been cited as the first to cost $1.5 million dollars to produce. Director Alan Crosland, who had already directed "The Face in the Fog" and "Enemies of Women" for Hearst, would become best known as the director of "The Jazz Singer."

In addition to the photographs of Paris Streets, the Exterior of Inn on Road to Paris, and Drawbridge shown here, Urban's Scrapbook Number 4 includese his sets for the Cardinal's Reception Room, Courtyard, and other Palace interiors; Goldsmith's Shop; the Village of Cocheforet; and Interior and Exterior of the Cocheforet House.

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