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Princess O'Rourke (1943)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  23 October 1943 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 673 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

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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Title: Princess O'Rourke (1943)

Princess O'Rourke (1943) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

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

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

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 October 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La petite exilée  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Eddie and Mary meet in their friend's apartment, Eddie asks Mary to sit down. As he is turned away from the camera, the shadow of a male crew member is cast on Eddie's back. See more »

Quotes

Holman - Maria's Uncle: [Eddie returns to the White House] What are you doing here?
Eddie O'Rourke: I was invited. I've got a right to be here. More so in fact.
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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Of it's time, but way above expectations
21 April 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Yes, it's a wartime movie, with some fairly subtle propaganda thrown in. Yes, it's a formula romance. Well, I'm afraid I love formula romances. And I guess I can even respect propaganda when it's done with panache and sincerity.

Norman Krasna's screenplay is the real star. Watching the film I was constantly amazed at how the dialog sparkled, how the situations never worked out in quite the way I expected, how the characters always seemed just a little warmer and more human than they might have in many similar films of this era.

The cast is excellent as well, consisting entirely of Hollywood stalwarts, every one of them at their most endearing. Jack Carson, Charles Coburn and Jane Wyman are all great, of course. But Olivia De Havilland is also perfectly cast, lovable on one hand, regal on the other... yet without that slightly simpering quality that made her less likable in, say, The Adventures of Robin Hood, or Gone With the Wind. Robert Cummings was a fine comedic actor who is not well-remembered today, perhaps because he was less multidimensional than someone like James Stewart; but he's used to excellent advantage here. He's not just portraying the perfect everyman Yank; he IS that (perhaps mythical) person, the Guy From Brooklyn. And, yes, the perfect wartime Yank, who's just got to join up and be in "the biggest fight of all time, and the most important." Just as Bogart had to go be a hero at the end of Casablanca. These wartime films earn much of their charm by being unashamedly part of their times.

But ultimately, it's the little touches that raise this film far above the ordinary. The extended gag with the multiple sleeping pills; the silly little bits with the president's dog... These don't distract from the warmth of the film, they add to it.

Perhaps we undervalue a film like Princess O'Rourke simply because the material and the style are so familiar. We need to step back and admire the Hollywood dream-factory at its finest, working to a certain format, yet also bringing together the talented individuals who could make that format sing.

I'll take a wonderfully-executed "formula" film like Princess O'Rourke any day, over self-consciously brilliant films that forget the basics of how to entertain.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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