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Downstairs (1932)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 8 May 1933 (Denmark)
An amoral chauffeur seeks to seduce a young bride.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Albert, the Baron's Butler
...
Anna, Albert's Wife
...
Countess De Marnac
...
Baron 'Nicky' von Burgen
...
Baroness Eloise von Burgen
Bodil Rosing ...
Sophie, the Cook
Otto Hoffman ...
Otto, the Wine Cellar Caretaker
Lucien Littlefield ...
Françoise, a Drunken Servant
Marion Lessing ...
Antoinette, Maid to the Countess
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Storyline

At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells him so. But Karl is a cad. Whenever he gets the chance, he will try to seduce Anna, who is not wise in the ways of the world. He lies without question if it is to his advantage and charms money out of Sophie, the old cook. He disrupts the household and then blackmails the Baroness to keep from being sacked. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the year's motion picture surprise - the amazing comeback of the brilliant figures of the screen! As thrilling as of old! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1933 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Der schöne Karl  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Gilbert wanted to do this movie so badly he sold the story to MGM for $1.00. Ads for the movie proclaimed "starring Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbert" since the couple was married shortly after the production completed filming. See more »

Quotes

Sophie, the Cook: [to Karl] You've got flour on your whatchamacallit!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Complicated Women (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played as background music after the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
good story by J Gilbert, great ensemble cast
15 January 2009 | by (southwest US) – See all my reviews

"Downstairs" opens with the wedding of servants Albert (Paul Lukas) and his new wife Anna (Virginia Bruce). The story was written by, and stars, John Gilbert as Karl Schneider, the chauffeur who never stays at one place too long. We learn at the wedding that he had been previously employed by "the Countess" (Hedda Hopper, in a small part). Throw in Reginald Owen as "the Baron" and you've got a story about the class differences, love, deceit, and intrigue, similar to the British series "Upstairs, Downstairs". Karl, the chauffeur, starts out as a suave, charming guy, but we quickly learn he isn't such a nice guy. There's also an interesting mix of accents here. Paul Lukas and "the Baroness" (Olga Baclanova) both have strong Hungarian accents. Reginald Owen is quite British, and both Gilbert and Bruce have pretty plain, flat American accents. Good story, good acting. Funny scene with Francoise, the drunk servant. Too bad Gilbert died so young - it all seemed to go downhill when he was dumped by Greta Garbo.


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