An Indication that Curtiz's Earlier Works Were just as Good as Casablanca.
SPOILERS!! The film starts with a woman on the run from her millionaire husband giving birth to a daughter in the home of a washerwoman. The woman dies in childbirth, but the baby survives. The washerwoman leaves the baby in a horsedrawn Parisian taxicab (No. 13). The paperwork of the birth is lost in a huge tome. Sixteen years pass. The tome is bought by a poor student. One day his bookshelf collapses, and the tome opens at the page where the paperwork has been hidden. The student realises that the paperwork relates to a millionaire who has spent the last sixteen years looking for his pregnant wife. The student traces the washerwoman, and he tricks her into confessing what she has done with the baby. Meanwhile, the baby has been adopted by the cab driver and his wife, and has grown into Lili Damita. She has a boyfriend whom she loves very much. The student realises that if he marries the girl, he will be the son-in-law of a millionaire. He begins to prise the girl away from her boyfriend. There is some soul searching as the girl, now knowing who her real father is, must choose between her real family and her adopted family. But there is a happy ending with a memorable scene at the end where the bride, now back with her original boyfriend is being given away at her wedding by both her fathers.
Curtiz's work is wonderful.There is a carnival scene that is so good that the sound of the fairground organ is not needed. It is as good as any scene in his better-known Hollywood work. There is a scene where Damita, with two boyfriends seated at the same table with her, smokes two cigarettes at a time.
Apart from Damita's soul searching, the film is light entertainment. It makes you smile and it makes you happy. It's got a pretty good story, the camera work's good, Curtiz is directing, Damita's in it, there are some great scenes, what more could one want? Do watch this film; you will not be disappointed.
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