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Princess O'Rourke (1943)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  23 October 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 698 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)

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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


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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 October 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La petite exilée  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


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 »


Holman - Maria's Uncle: His father was one of eleven boys. Remarkable!
See more »


Honorable Moon
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

PRINCESS O'ROURKE (Norman Krasna, 1943) **1/2
19 February 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This certainly ranks among the weakest winners of a top Oscar (best original screenplay, written by the director) from Hollywood's golden age; interestingly enough, all its competitors were not only war pictures (which may well have resulted in a lockdown!) but superior to it – AIR FORCE, IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942), THE NORTH STAR and, the only one I have yet to watch, SO PROUDLY WE HAIL! It is a frothy romantic comedy by Warner Bros. whose concern with nobility, tradition and duty must have seemed pretty old hat and not a little silly during wartime! Olivia De Havilland had outgrown her Errol Flynn leading lady mode by this time, landing even a couple of Academy Award nominations into the bargain – and two statuettes would be coming her way before the decade was out; with this in mind, comedy was never her forte, which is amply proved here – not that the role offered much in the way of inspiration!

While a modicum of pleasure is derived throughout from the complications that invariably arise when traveling European princess De Havilland is mistaken for a refugee by pilot Robert Cummings, it too often targets real neurotic ailments like Curt Bois' nervous tick and De Havilland's own insomnia (which sees her downing some six sleeping pills in quick succession from four different people!). In the heroine's eagerness to do her bit for the war effort, she even agrees to serve as a live dummy for trainee nurses.

The supporting cast includes old reliables such as Charles Coburn and a wasted Gladys Cooper as De Havilland's rather insufferable uncle (the exact opposite to his impish character in Ernst Lubitsch's HEAVEN CAN WAIT from the same year!) and secretary respectively, Jack Carson and a young Jane Wyman as Cummings' pal and his (atypically glamorous for her) wife, and Harry Davenport as a Justice of the Peace brought in to marry the two leads against Coburn's wishes.

The latter scene occurs during a state visit to the White House – where Cummings is eventually obliged to drop his American citizenship if he is to become Prince Consort (but which he vehemently refuses to do) – and which even presumes us to swallow the ruse that the American president would disguise himself as a cop and stand guard at the door behind which the clandestine ceremony is taking place!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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