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The Baroness and the Butler (1938)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 179 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

A Butler (Powell) gets elected to the Hungarian parliament where he opposes his master's government.

Director:

Writers:

(play) (as Ladislaus Bus-Fekete) , (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Baroness and the Butler (1938)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johann Porok
...
Baroness Katrina Marissey
Helen Westley ...
Countess Sandor
Henry Stephenson ...
Count Albert Sandor
...
Baron Georg Marissey
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Zorda
...
Major Andros
Lynn Bari ...
Maurice Cass ...
Radio Announcer
Ivan F. Simpson ...
Count Dormo (as Ivan Simpson)
Alphonse Ethier ...
President
Claire Du Brey ...
Martha - Kartina's Secretary
Wilfred Lucas ...
Sidney Bracey ...
Member of Parliament (as Sidney Bracy)
Frank Baker ...
Edit

Storyline

A Butler (Powell) gets elected to the Hungarian parliament where he opposes his master's government.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Baronesa e o Mordomo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was rejected by the censors in Quebec, Canada. Romania censors removed all references to Hungary. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Powell's character can be seen using a tea trolley with a large map of and coat of arms prominently displayed on its back. Both represent Australia, not Hungary, where the film is set. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: William Powell (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Tales From the Vienna Woods, Op.325
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
In the score for the opening scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charming
10 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Baroness and the Butler" is a 1938 film starring William Powell and the French star signed by 20th Century Fox, Annabella, who got the big star buildup from Fox. Little did Darryl F. Zanuck know that she was more interested in matters of the heart than career. When she met and fell in love with Tyrone Power on her next film, "Suez," Zanuck tried to get rid of her by offering her films in Europe. She refused to leave Power (and who could blame her) and the two married, becoming the Brangelina of their era. Zanuck blacklisted her, and there went the star buildup and the big film career.

This is a charming film set in Hungary, about a butler, Johann Porok (Powell) who works for the Prime Minister (Henry Stephenson). The prime minister and his family, particularly his daughter Katrina (Annabella) are shocked when Johann is elected to Parliament - by the opposition party. What's more, he wants to stay on as butler. Meanwhile, Katrina's philandering husband (Josef Schildkraut) has a few political ambitions of his own.

Powell does a smooth job in this film as the elegant butler who is known for his brilliant speeches in Parliament. Stephenson is great as his amused boss, and Schildkraut, who played so many slimeballs, is terrific as usual. Annabella was a wonderful actress, and when her film career took a nosedive thanks to Zanuck, she and Power did radio shows together. Annabella also had a great success on Broadway, did "Liliom" with her husband in Westport Connecticut, and worked tirelessly for the war effort before returning to France when she and Power divorced.

"The Baroness and the Butler" isn't a great film, but it has good performances and a breeziness about it. Enjoyable if predictable.


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