A pilot falls in love with a woman he believes is heading cross country to become a maid, little suspecting that she's actually a princess.

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From Arnold Bennett's novel "Buried Alive". An artist returning from years abroad takes the identity of his dead valet to escape the attentions of the press.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Monty Woolley, Gracie Fields, Laird Cregar
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Princess Maria - aka Mary Williams (as Olivia DeHavilland)
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Eddie O'Rourke
...
Holman - Maria's Uncle
...
Dave Campbell
...
Jean Campbell
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Supreme Court Judge
...
Miss Haskell
Minor Watson ...
Mr. Washburn
Nan Wynn ...
Nightclub Singer
Curt Bois ...
Count Peter de Candome
...
G-Man
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Storyline

Poor Princess Maria is visiting New York, but she's not having any fun. So her uncle suggests she spend a few days in San Francisco. Unfortunately she's nervous about going by plane. To calm her jitters, she takes a sleeping pill before the plane takes off. Sensing her nervousness, the pilot, navigator and stewardess all secretly give her pills. When bad weather forces the plane to head back to New York, the sleepy princess is left in the care of pilot Edward O'Rourke who takes her to his apartment to spend the night. When she comes to the next day, she finds a note left by O'Rourke asking her to meet him after work. The princess decides to find out what she's been missing and sneaks off to him. To keep her identity a secret, she tells O'Rourke that she's a poor waif sent from Europe to work as a maid in San Francisco. What she doesn't count on is that before the day is through O'Rourke will ask her to marry him. Written by Daniel Bubbeo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 October 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La petite exilée  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released more than a year after it was completed. See more »

Goofs

In the study when her uncle and Mary are reading and he in shown in close-up, Holman' book is clearly opened to first few pages. In the following medium shot, the book is open to the last third. See more »

Quotes

[two friends are piloting an airliner]
Dave Campbell: Take over, son.
Eddie O'Rourke: Is it hard?
Dave Campbell: No.
Eddie O'Rourke: Well, what do I do, Dad?
Dave Campbell: Just fiddle around, it'll come to you.
See more »

Soundtracks

Honorable Moon
(1943)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin and E.Y. Harburg
Sung by Nan Wynn at the Chinese Restaurant
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User Reviews

 
Another Princess and a commoner, with some propaganda thrown in
13 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is, after all, 1943, so you've got to expect a little propaganda from a film, even if it is a comedy called "Princess O'Rourke," starring Olivia de Havilland, Robert Cummings, Jack Carson, and Jane Wyman. DeHavilland is a princess visiting in New York, en route by plane to San Francisco to escape from boredom. Before she leaves, she gets a sleeping pill from her uncle's secretary (Gladys Cooper) but when it doesn't work immediately, she gets another one from the flight attendant, one from the copilot (Jack Carson), and finally, two from the pilot, Eddie (Robert Cummings). Then she can sleep. Unfortunately, the plane has to turn around and return to New York and the princess can't be awakened. Eddie takes her to his place to sleep it off - all very chaste, of course - and the two fall in love.

Olivia de Havilland is very beautiful and was one of the best actresses in Hollywood. Alas, she didn't always get a chance to show it. But she is certainly lovely as a young woman torn between loyalty and love. Her sleeping pill scene and the scene where her uncle discusses a possible American suitor with her are wonderful and demonstrate her impeccable timing. Jack Carson and Jane Wyman are delightful as Eddie's friends, and Cummings gives an energetic performance as Eddie. In the film Eddie's birth date is given as 1914; Cummings was actually born in 1908 and was around 33 when the movie was made (though released in 1943, the film was made over a year earlier). He retained his youthful appearance well past the 1950s, during which time he played a swinging bachelor in his television series. Charles Coburn provides excellent support, and Gladys Cooper is totally wasted in a role that she must have been assigned for some contractual reason.

"Princess O'Rourke" enters the realm of whimsy when the President and his "little dog Fala," as Roosevelt referred to his buddy, take a hand in the romance. The dog playing Fala is excellent! One interesting bit of trivia: It's rare to see a film released 63 years ago in which two of the stars are still alive (in fact, it's rare to see a film released 63 years ago in which even one star is alive), but at this writing, both de Havilland and Wyman are still with us. So is "Princess O'Rourke." It's light and enjoyable.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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