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A burglar is recruited to aid the police in finding his kidnapped girlfriend, a lovely but impoverished flower girl. Meanwhile, a deranged Russian emigre has been claiming that his ward is actually Princess Anastasia, last survivor of the Tsar's family--but she seems to behave strangely in the presence of flowers. Written by
David S. Smith
Is this flower-seller the real Anastasia? Could be.
A smorgasbord of in-jokes, tres moderne crime-fighting techniques, and every old-dark-house cliche (but of course, it was made in 1932, so it may have been inventing some of them), the film features Frank Morgan (later to be the Wizard of Oz) as a clever, chain-smoking inspecteur from the Surete who goes up against a wily Russian crook. Murders, staged accidents, bodies dragged from the Seine and an amazingly successful attempt to foil the censor while showing female nudity are all parts of this tale. A suave French thief (with an impeccable Oxford accent)is employed by the Surete to help foil the plot, and an army of Chinese house-servants and a broken-glass wall topping are just some of the dazzling obstacles to be overcome. The "statue" created by the villain will astonish you, as will the gorgeous clothes worn by the beautiful young heroine who could be Anastasia, long-lost daughter of the Romanoffs. This is high camp film-making but done in an earnest style. Really fun.
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