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Natascha, a White Russian countess, stows away on a luxury liner at Hong Kong, determined to seek a new life in America. Natascha hides in the cabin of Ogden Mears, a millionaire diplomat, thereby causing an endless stream of misunderstandings and complications; particularly when his wife, Martha, joins the trip at Honolulu, necessitating a 'marriage' to Ogden's valet, Hudson, a saronged-dive overboard and more subterfuge on the part of Ogdon and his associate, Harvey. Written by
alfiehitchie & tipsyheadrinse
During "everybody is getting sea-sick" scene Ogden, Natascha and Harvey push an ashtray around the table until Ogden angrily swipes it off the table. Shortly after it's back on the table in front of Natascha's chair and in the next shot it moves over to be in front of Ogden's chair, although nobody is at the table at that time. See more »
This could have been a much better movie--as it is, it's still an interesting film
This film has a pretty poor reputation and in some ways it is deserved, but I also wonder if maybe the reason critics were so hard on the film was because they expected too much from director, Charlie Chaplin. It was the last film he directed and in this sense, it is a disappointment that he made such an ordinary film. But, if they had thought that the director was Homer Noodleman or Myron Lipschitz, would they have been so hostile towards THE COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG?
The biggest problem about the film is probably the choice of stars for the film. While Marlon Brando was brilliant in some films, he also often acted well outside his range--this film is a great example. He just isn't a funny actor no matter how much he tries in the film. The part appears to have been written for someone like Cary Grant or David Niven--but not Brando. And Sophia Loren, while not as badly miscast, also really isn't in her element. Also, Chaplin himself only appears for a few seconds, and I am sure many were disappointed at only seeing this ever so brief cameo.
Now as for the plot, I read one review that said this film was made in the wrong decade, and I agree wholeheartedly. The movie looks much like a romantic-comedy from the late 1930s. This isn't really a criticism--more that this film would have played better and been embraced more in this decade instead of the more jaded and "hip" 1960s. I'm sure than many potential viewers were turned off by it being a movie "for their parents".
Unfortunately, the film apart from these minor criticisms wasn't really a bad film. While not the perfect culmination to his career like it would have been if LIMELIGHT had been his final film, Chaplin had nothing to be ashamed of other than miscasting.
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