Alternate Versions (1)

  • Director Max Ophuls's original ending was changed prior to the American release. In the original ending, there is an unbroken shot that starts with Nigel Bruce's character waiting outside the door and goes on to follow Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (in his regal garb) as he descends the stairs and walks out into the crowd. Katie (Rita Corday) prays and leaves her room. Two men enter the now-empty inn and discuss the placement of a commemorative plaque for the site. As they go over the wording for the plaque (about Charles II's loyal supporters, etc.), they notice Katie exiting in the background and dismiss her as unimportant. As they continue reading, the screen dissolves to a shot of the plaque (seen earlier in the film), closing in on the engraved image of Charles II's head in profile at the bottom. (In the American release ending, a quick shot of Katie leaving her room breaks up the shot of Fairbanks descending the stairs. After the king exits, the film cuts to the plaque and the engraved image.) The original ending may have been seen on international prints of the film. Turner Classic Movies has, on occasion, shown the alternate ending as a bonus after airing the American version of the film.