Henry Bellamann’s enormous novel follows the lives and scandals of a huge cast of characters in a fictional Missouri town in the 1890s through the turn of this century, focusing on the life-long friendship between sensitive musician/physician Parris Mitchell and charmingly arrogant playboy Drake McHugh.
The publication was considered scandalous at the moment, as it featured themes including incest, insanity, premarital sex, and homosexuality. When Warner Brothers bought the movie rights it was clear that changes would have to be forced to meet the limitations of this Production Code: In many ways what was retained, what was thrown outside, and that which was added in would be definitely the elements of the film.
Research indicated that Bellamann was operating off bitterness of his own upbringing in Fulton, Missouri, in which he rumoured illegitimacy and was ostracised for his German extraction. Ronald Reagan was given a star role by the 1942 film version.
Bellamann was also a poet and a music professor at Vassar College.
Kings Row Movie Trailer
Kings Row (1942) Official Trailer
Starring: Ronald Reagan, Claude Rains and Ann Sheridan