|Index||2 reviews in total|
In this early sound musical, Janet Gaynor plays a princess in an
Austria-like fairytale kingdom who longs to live the life of an
ordinary girl. Watch it with a sense of humor--this is in no way an
important musical along the lines of "Gigi", but it doesn't try to be.
The script is humorous and a bit self-mocking, and the actors have a
lot of fun inventing business for themselves--scenes between C. Aubrey
Smith and Herbert Mundin appear to have been staged for their personal
amusement, which luckily works for the audience, too. Director Dieterle
adds some wonderful flights of fancy, which I won't give away, because
the surprise is a good part of the fun. The music, sets, and costumes
all contribute to the delightful feeling of fantasy.
Janet Gaynor's voice is almost shockingly girlish, which I think must have been partly due to the sound technology used, but her performance suits the title. In addition, her character is spirited and mischievous. Henri Garat, a French actor playing Gaynor's love interest, doesn't fare quite as well as she does: he's a bit hard to understand, with his heavy accent; isn't 100% photogenic; and his character comes off as a little caddish. But he does bring his fine singing voice, sounding sincere even when the lyrics are a trifle silly: "You're so completely adorable...is the way to your heart explorable?"
Recommended for old-movie fans looking for a diverting film that's sweet but surprising.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This charming and light-hearted Ruritanian-set romantic comedy is a
remake of the 1931 movies 'Ihre Hoheit befiehlt' and 'Princesse, a vos
ordres!'. This version from Fox Film Corporation stars Janet Gaynor and
Henri Garat, who reprises his role from the French original. It is
helmed by the German director William Dieterle, who exhibits
considerable artistic understanding with his stylish and refined
direction. With polished gems such as 'Jewel Robbery' and 'Six Hours to
Live' already decorating his resume and timeless classics such as 'All
That Money Can Buy' and 'Portrait of Jennie' still to be realised, it
is truly fascinating to view this movie and observe a developing master
Plot-wise, Gaynor and Garat star as Princess Marie Christine and Lieutenant Conradi, respectively. Attending a commoner ball incognito, they meet and become enchanted by one another over the course of a merry evening. The Princess says that she works in a hair salon and the Lieutenant describes himself as a green-grocer. When the Princess flits away into the enveloping night leaving only a note with her place of work for the smitten Conradi, the wheels of romantic misunderstanding are most definitely set in motion.
On the acting side of things, both principals work well in their roles. They are ably supported by one of cinema's greatest character actors, C. Aubrey Smith, who contributes yet another anchoring performance as the Prime Minister, Von Heynitz. Gaynor is cute and characteristically enchanting. Her Princess is engaging and not without a rebellious streak! Garat, making his first appearance in a Hollywood production, is amusing and likable in a somewhat aloof kind of a way. His Lieutenant appears suitably bewildered at stages and Garat's facial expressions had me chuckling. He occasionally resembled a toy soldier or puppet being played with by those at the Palace. To see more of Garat, I would recommend the somewhat similarly-themed comedy 'Un Mauvais Garcon' from 1936.
Eighty years after its premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York, 'Adorable' still stands up as a delectable cinematic offering. The sets and the cinematic playfulness that allows the Princess's shoes to dance daintily and her bed sway gently with the music are the elements that really endeared this movie to me. View it if you possibly can and allow its gentle magic touch your heart and bring forth many smiles of enjoyment.
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|