The Delightful Rogue

The Delightful Rogue is a 1929 Pre-Code romantic adventure film produced and distributed by RKO Pictures. The film was directed by A. Leslie Pearce, with the screenplay by Wallace Smith, based on his short story, A Woman Decides. The film stars Rod La Rocque as a modern-day pirate in the south seas, as well as Rita La Roy and Charles Byer. La Rocque had been playing similar style adventurers in a few of his last silent films, and this film attempts to replicate the success of those silent adventure movies using RCA's early sound equipment, the Photophone system.[2][3]

The Delightful Rogue
Movie card for the film
Directed byLynn Shores[1]
A. Leslie Pearce
Produced byWilliam LeBaron
Written byWallace Smith
StarringRod La Rocque
Rita La Roy
Charles Byer
Music byOscar Levant
Sidney Clare
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • September 22, 1929 (1929-09-22) (US)[1]
Running time
71 minutes; 7 reels
CountryUnited States


Lastro is a modern-day pirate who hijacks a yacht and heads into the tropic port of Tapit. He is wanted for a variety of offenses, including murder and robbery. Upon his arrival, he is recognized by a local native leader, Junipero, who recognizes him, but takes a bribe to not turn him in. While in Tapit, he sees an American dancer, Nydra, who he is immediately attracted to. Nydra is also being pursued by Harry Beall, the heir to a wealthy American family, yet Nydra is intrigued by Lastro's self-assurance and audacity.

Lastro is betrayed by Junipero, who brings the police to arrest Lastro. In the ensuing melee, Lastro overcomes both Junipero and the police, as well as easily brushing aside Beall. To secure his safe escape, Lastro takes Beall as a hostage back to his yacht. Nydra appears to beg Lastro to let Beall go, which Lastro agrees to, on one condition: Nydra must spend the night with Lastro in his cabin aboard the yacht. Nydra agrees. While they spend the night in the cabin, nothing untoward happens, with the two simply spending the time talking and getting to know each other. Nydra is impressed with Lastro's gallantry. However, Beall has spent the night imagining the worst, and his jealous reactions in the morning completely turn Nydra off. Disgusted with his behavior, Nydra sets sails with the gallant pirate, Lastro.



There was a single song featured in the film, "Gay Love", by writing team of Oscar Levant and Sidney Clare.[4]

Wallace Smith's short story, upon which the screenplay was based, originally appeared in Cosmopolitan.[5]

Shortly after the film's release, Bing Crosby released a version of "Gay Love" on the B-side of "Can't We Be Friends", on a Columbia Records 78 record.[6]


  1. "The Delightful Rogue: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  2. The Delightful Rogue at
  3. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, c. 1971
  4. Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 21. ISBN 0-517-546566.
  5. "The Delightful Rogue:Screenplay Info". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  6. "COLUMBIA (USA) 2000D to 2499D Numerical Listing". Retrieved April 2, 2014.
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