I went to see this as part of my Ernest Thesiger Completist project. A voiceless Thesiger loses some of his effect, but as Lidoff, the would-be Machiavellian ambassador ("Oh dear! I forgot to mention you are married") of the Balkan state of Bolonia he is still effective. our heroine, Sally the housemaid, is an exact double of Princess Zonia of Bolonia and Lidoff takes her and her lover Jimmie (who is inventing television) to Bolonia, expecting the would-be military dictator General Winkleburg to kill Sally ("It's a pity she'll die. She's a nice little thing.") instead of the Princess en route to the coronation. The plot is foiled by coincidence, foreign incompetence, chance and Jimmie. Going by this film, Betty Balfour isn't much like Pickford- tougher and working-class. She plays Sally well and doesn't have much to do except wear the clothes as if she's used to them as the princess. It's standard British humour- servants and landladies in the first half and- even with an Austrian director- standard British ideas of the Balkans in the second half. Not very imaginative visually- the usual British film-making technique- get good actors and just point the camera at them. The actors all act the way they're meant to act. The continuous musical accompaniment- recorded with the appearance of sound films just after the film was made- has some entertaining effects.
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