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Victor Lobard, the smooth and nimble owner of the Café Metropole in Paris, has only ten days to replace a small fortune he embezzled from the business; he and a clerk face prison if he fails. He thinks he's won the money at a casino then learns he's in possession of a rubber check written by Alexander Brown, a well-mannered but penniless Yank. Lobard cooks up a scheme: to have Brown pretend to be a Russian prince, woo a visiting American, and get her rich father to give Brown the money Lobard needs. Several problems: Brown's not a very good impostor, a real Russian prince presents himself, and the two young people fall in love. Does prison await or do wild strawberries? Written by
Among the photos in Monsieur Victor Lobard's office are Warner Baxter, Shirley Temple, Will Rogers, Alice Faye, Rochelle Hudson, Thomas Beck, all Fox players, plus Gloria Swanson, Jack Dempsey, and Charles Chaplin. See more »
[to a gendarme who is arresting her husband]
I'm his moll. Wherever he goes, I go - gangster talk!
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With all that beauty, who listens to what they're saying?
A broke American is forced to pose as a Russian prince in order to pay a gambling debt in "Cafe Metropole," a film written by the multi-talented Gregory Ratoff, who also plays a role in the movie. This is a funny, light, romantic comedy where the best scenes are saved for the character actors Charles Winninger and Helen Westley, who have great banter. Menjou is a duplicitous restaurateur who blackmails Tyrone Power into going along with his scheme; Loretta Young, romanced by Power, is the beautiful daughter of Charles Winninger.
If you're a shallow person, this is the movie for you because it's Eye Candy City. Power and Young, two people very, very high on any "most beautiful" list, are so ethereally, incalculably gorgeous that it's hard to listen to a word they're saying while they're on screen. And Young's fashions are divine '30s couturier. This is one of Power's very early films; he was only 22 when it was made, and though only a year older than he was, Young had been around since silent film days. For me, Power's looks reached their full dazzle about two to three years later but if you only saw him in Cafe Metropole, you'd have a hard time believing there could be any improvement in that face. And in a tuxedo for so much of the movie. Almost too much of a good thing.
Anyway, if you can concentrate, Cafe Metropole is a delightful film.
As a bit of trivia, Power and Young made several films together in Power's early days at Fox. They remained friends, and in 1958, Young showed up for Power's funeral straight from filming her TV show, decked out and unrecognizable in Oriental garb and makeup to match. In the late '70s, she was photographed with Power's son, Ty, Jr., and you would swear you'd gone back in time. His resemblance to his father was so striking, and she was still so very beautiful.
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