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Efrem Zimbalist Jr.,
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace. Prince Albert has searched all over Europe for a bride and he's bored by the whole courtship routine. He is more interested in the estate's dairy than Alexandra's rose garden. And then he starts playing football with the tutor and Alexandra's brothers. Invite the tutor to the ball that night and watch how gracefully Alexandra dances with him. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
Delightful, witty screenplay. A collection of perfectly constructed moments of awkwardness, beautifully photographed by Ruttenberg and Surtees (who did Oklahoma, The Graduate and Last Time i Saw Paris between them) and perfectly shot by Charles Vidor. A fun performance by Alec Guinness as Prince Albert who visits Grace Kelly's princess on a tour of all the princesses in the country, in search of a wife. Louis Jordan, as the young professor, contender for the princess's affections, is very good and looks like a young Colin Firth.
Grace Kelly looks lovelier than ever, and is quite excellent in the role of her life - the role she played for the statesmen of Hollywood. She was just a little girl from Philadelphia who looked like a princess, so they asked her to learn to speak like a princess. And she did. They sent her tapes of elegant speech, and gave her tuition in elegance - and she played the part perfectly. The fun, flirtatious girl she was remained hidden from the public by the press, who in those days co-operated with the Hollywood political establishment. For all the public knew, Grace Kelly was merely a beautiful, elegant woman who played herself on screen. This was not the case. Like Humphrey Bogart, she was not originally like her on screen persona, but like Cary Grant, she eventually became it - through outside circumstance, when she was proposed to by Prince Rainier of Monaco, who met her on a publicity stunt visit. Here, Grace took the elegant persona of Dial M for Murder and Rear Window a step further, anticipating what it would be like to be an actual princess. In less than a year she would know from personal experience, but in The Swan she predicts the feeling perfectly, coming off looking completely genuine. She depicts the confusion of the princess beautifully, the awkwardness and uncertainty despite best intentions. She reveals her feelings at once in the "box him on the ears" speech beautifully - watch her eyes. Such a tender, genuine moment.
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