As told to a psychiatrist: Mr. Peabody, middle-aged Bostonian on vacation with his wife in the Caribbean, hears mysterious, wordless singing on an uninhabited rock in the bay. Fishing in ... See full summary »
Small town girl meets and falls for a playboy type on a train to New York. For him, the fling is over when they arrive, but she continues to carry a torch. She meets and marries his brother... See full summary »
Gregory La Cava
John Nelson, a well-to-do businessman, is escorting a woman he knows as Ethel Barry to the door of her apartment suite when a man steps out of the shadows and angrily demands to know where ... See full summary »
Louis J. Gasnier
British officer is assigned to duty in Ireland and gets embroiled in Anglo-Irish battles and old girl friend who is now married to an Irishman. Powell learns more than he wanted to know ... See full summary »
Prof. Andrew Gentling, in Los Angeles to help found a new college, is inveigled by old flame Catherine Sykes into a midnight drive. Next day Catherine is missing, believed killed; friend ... See full summary »
The film was rejected by the censors in Quebec, Canada. Romania censors removed all references to Hungary. See more »
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 »
"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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