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On a visit to a spa in the Ruritanian Kingdom of Tyronia, American financier Richard Gresham meets the country's ruler, King Anatol XII, and convinces him that he could arrange for $50 million dollars in loans to benefit his impoverished nation if the king's charming daughter could do reciprocal public relations in the States. Unfortunately Princess Catterina falls ill with the mumps and is quarantined for a month aboard ship. Rather than risk having his very lucrative endorsement deal fall through, Gresham hires out-of-work lookalike actress Nancy Lane to impersonate Catterina. Complications arise when she falls in love with investigative reporter Porter Madison, who is looking into Nancy Lane's disappearance. She tries to maintain the precariously delicate balance of playing the two parts convincingly with both the loan and her heart at stake. Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
This is a sweet little fantasy film that you will thoroughly enjoy provided you don't question the plot. Of course the idea of a princess having an exact double who can perfectly pretend to be her is a bit silly, but my advice is to just accept this and enjoy this nice little romantic film.
The film begins in a tiny fictional kingdom in Europe. A rich banker, Edward Arnold, meets the king (Henry Stephenson) and they talk about possibly selling some bonds to allow the kingdom to modernize--bring electricity and other modern things to the common people. Arnold likes the idea and wants the king to come back with him to America to go on a publicity tour to drum up support for the bonds. However, the king is hesitant and sends his daughter (Sylvia Sidney) instead. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving, the Princess becomes ill and is quarantined. The bond drive is no longer possible and it looks like the business deal will fail. However, when an exact double (who is supposed to be a struggling actress--also played by Sidney) is discovered, she is convinced to pretend to be the Princess. The biggest obstacle still in the way is a newspaper owner (Cary Grant) who dislikes Arnold, so it's not only up to the actress to play the part but win over cynical Grant to her side. While this isn't all that hard, what is she to eventually tell him? After all, they have fallen in love.
The film is exceptionally directed and the script gets the most out of the plot. Additionally, I really enjoyed Miss Sidney's performance--she made the film. As for Grant and Arnold, they are also terrific. While I always love Stephenson in films, I must admit that he had trouble with the accent--but this is the most minor of qualms. Overall, a delightful romantic comedy with strong elements of fantasy. You can't help but like it once you accept its rather odd premise.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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