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Taking the dull road to royal romance.

3/10
Author: mark.waltz from United States
23 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A look alike actor stands in to romance a neighboring country's princess and shows the romantic capabilities of the court jester. Neil Hamilton was one of the most staid leading men of the 1930's. To put him in Maurice Chevalier white coats and court a princess showed that Tiffany studios was pretty hard up. Una Merkel is the shy princess, not knowing that this suitor is target of assassination in political intrigue lead by Mischa Auer. This is a tedious and slow moving mixture of royal treachery and dull romantic comedy, only lifted up by a few energetic performances, but certainly not by the leading man. I was not at all convinced that this ripoff of every tired old spoof of so many operetta like story was anything but phony. This seems like one of those creaky old plays still touring in the hinterlands. It doesn't help that the soundtrack is filled with more crackles than a bowl of rice krispies. Merkel and Auer add what little life there is, and it is nice to see veteran hatchet face Vera Lewis as Merkel's regal mother. Stick with Maurice and Jeanette, and leave Neil Hamilton to his camp following as the commissioner on TV's Batman.

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Not without a few problems, but I still enjoyed it.

6/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
21 July 2015

So far there is only one other review for this film on IMDb and that writer really, really hated it. While I can understand some of their wrath, I found the film enjoyable despite its deficits. Yes, Neil Hamilton is a big hammy in his acting...they're right about that. And I should point out that this film and the play it's based upon clearly are ripping off "The Prisoner of Zenda", though it's different enough to be enjoyable--and it gives a happy ending you'll never find in the original source material.

Neil Hamilton is acting in two roles in one of the oldest and saddest clichés in films--the notion of identical strangers! It seems that a tiny kingdom is doomed to be invaded unless they can make a marriage alliance by another nearby country. However, the prince is a jerk-face--and couldn't care less if his country is invaded and so he refuses the marriage. Well, it just so happens that there is an actor who looks a lot like the prince (exactly, actually) and he goes to woo the fair princess (Una Merkel).

While the romance seems rushed and the film overly familiar, I like what the film did at the end--creating a very interesting contrast to "The Prisoner of Zenda". I also thought Merkel was excellent and lovely--far different from her usual comical and light roles. All in all, not a great film but an enjoyable one that you can download for free at archive.org.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Hammy Time in Ruritania!

1/10
Author: JohnHowardReid
22 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To be avoided at all costs, is Tiffany's 1931 "Command Performance" starring Neil Hamilton and Una Merkel. This Poverty Row talk-fest casts Hamilton in a dual role so that we can all enjoy two incredibly bad performances for the price of one. Admittedly, Lawrence Grant gives Neil an awfully bad run for his money, but even a super stiff and declamatory bore like Grant is easily overtaken in the impossibly rotten acting stakes by an expressionless ham with twice as much screen time! Sad to see Una Merkel adrift in this sea of rubbish. And she's often unflatteringly photographed to boot. The director of this totally inept slice of Poverty Row Ruritanian ham is Walter Lang, would you believe? No doubt Walter insisted his credit be removed from re-issue prints (entitled "He's a Prince"). I don't blame him! And the producer (whose name was also deleted from prints of "Prince...") was none other than James Cruze. The lovely Thelma Todd is also in the movie – but fortunately only in the opening scene. Lucky girl! It's all downhill from there!

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