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Princess Caraboo (1994)

Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mr. Worrall
...
Princess Caraboo / Mary Baker
...
Mrs. Worrall
...
...
Professor Wilkinson
...
Peter Eyre ...
Lord Apthorpe
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Lady Apthorpe
...
Magistrate Haythorne (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
John Wells ...
Reverend Hunt
...
Amon McCarthy
...
Arkie Whiteley ...
Betty
...
Ella
...
Ship's Captain
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Storyline

Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it is understood that the woman is a princess from a far away land. She is then welcomed by a family of haughty aristocrats that only wants to heighten their prestige. However, the local reporter is not at all convinced she is what she claims to be and investigates. Is Caraboo really a princess? Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was everything they dreamed of... And nothing they expected.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Princesse Caraboo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,021,629 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of Mary Willcocks Baker, who appeared in 1817 in Gloucestershire, England, speaking an unknown language and behaving strangely. Through signs and gestures she claimed to be a princess from an island called Javasu, who had been kidnapped by pirates and escaped. For several months, "Princess Caraboo" was a national figure and was welcomed into high society. Her story was revealed as a hoax after a local woman saw her face in the newspaper and recognized her as a former tenant. After being exposed, the real Mary Baker faded into obscurity and died in 1864 at the age of 75. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Worrall: Mr. Worrall, after ten years of marriage, the time has come for me to say enough is enough. I have arranged lodgings for you in Bristol. The servants will remain with me, of course... with the exception of Betty. You'll need a housekeeper.
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Connections

Referenced in Two If by Sea (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Air (from The Ephesian Matron)
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Isaac Bickerstaffe
Music by Charles Dibden
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User Reviews

Well done and sometimes funny, based on fact
1 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

This story is set several hundred years ago. A mysterious girl who apparently speaks no English is found begging in the streets. The magistrate wants to put her in jail, but the wife of one of the prominent men of the city wants to take her home to stay with her. Several people are consulted to determine what language the girl speaks, including one language expert played by John Lithgow who is very funny (especially when he tries to speak various languages). The girl doesn't look Asian or Middle Eastern, but if she's faking it (as some suspect) she's doing a good job. She has a tattoo and strange religious customs that provide clues, though the language in which she writes is not known to anyone. It is decided that she is speaking a dialect from Asia.

When she does understand what is going on, she comes across as quite charming. Eventually, it is determined that she must be a princess, and her name seems to be Caraboo.

Phoebe Cates gave a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. Whether her character did as well I won't say. You'll just have to watch.

I was worried when the movie wasn't funny at first, but the humor came in large doses after a while, and not the usual type of movie humor. This was quite a sophisticated film considering it often tried to be silly, and the costumes and the settings were very nice. The music was magnificent, whether highbrow classical or period music that sounded more like what ordinary people would enjoy.

Everything about this movie was well done, and while it's not normally the type of movie I would watch, I enjoyed it.


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