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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
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Princess Caraboo / Mary Baker
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Mrs. Worrall
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Professor Wilkinson
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Lord Apthorpe
Jacqueline Pearce ...
Lady Apthorpe
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Magistrate Haythorne (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
John Wells ...
Reverend Hunt
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Amon McCarthy
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Arkie Whiteley ...
Betty
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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

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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 »

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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

The jeweled white gown with dark velvet overdress Jacqueline Pearce wears at the Prince Regent's ball is the same costume worn by an extra at the London ball in Sense and Sensibility (1995), by Embeth Davidtz (Mary Crawford) for the theatrical in Mansfield Park (1999), and by Jane How (Lady Holland) to a ball in Byron (2003). See more »

Quotes

Frixos: You are a fraud. I know you're a fraud, and I have spit in your soup.
[pause]
Frixos: No, worser, I've pissed in it.
Mrs. Worrall: Frixos, are you addressing the princess?
Frixos: I'm telling her about the soup. It is cream of sorrel and the cook hope she like it very much.
Mrs. Worrall: You know she doesn't understand English.
Mr. Worrall: Neither does Frixos, so maybe they'll understand each other.
[he laughs and so does Caraboo]
Mr. Worrall: You see, my dear? She appreciates my little witticisms.
Mrs. Worrall: Surely, you only address a guest when they address you, Frixos.
[...]
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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

 
For those who love a story
30 July 2004 | by (Salt Lake City, UT) – See all my reviews

"Princess Caraboo" is about the selfish and fashionable endeavors of the aristocracy of 19th century England, about the role of true charity and from whence it comes, and perhaps most of all it is about humankind's fascination with the story. Although we catch glimpses of, and come to care for, the true character of Caraboo (Cates), the movie's namesake serves mainly as a vessel through which the subject of the film can flow.

In this movie a young beggar who speaks no English is taken in by a well-to-do family, and before long they have determined that she is a queen of the Orient. In no time, she is the town's sensation, and if nothing else, living like royalty. Her story attracts the attention of a newspaper man (Mr. Gutch played by Stephen Rea) who, in determinedly trying to discover the truth about Caraboo, falls in love with her. He half hopes the legend is true, half hopes that she's remarkable enough to have made up a story and a language and a manner to fool the very class she'd always been taught to fear and respect.

I liked this movie for many reasons. It must be said that it's decidedly predictable, but such is the case in movies that are not so much concerned with plot as with characters. The question is, are the characters worth making a movie about? They are. Cates is delightful as always, and in such a role in which she scarcely speaks, she has the opportunity to shine and to demonstrate (through action and manner) her ability to act the part. Stephen Rea is never to be outdone, and has a genuine ability to pull off passion in whatever role he plays. The British aristocracy is portrayed as largely grotesque and corrupt and mind-numbingly self-absorbed.

For my part, I always appreciate a movie that doesn't revolve around romance, and though this movie is touched with pieces of romanticism (definitely a chick-flick in certain ways), it's not about the romance. It is instead about how the story completes us, and how compelling the human imagination really is. Despite the moral values the film purports, Princess Caraboo is not didactic and short on sappiness.

I think "Princess Caraboo" is a delightful and beautiful tale, and I recommend it to those who prefer the story to the action, and who like to see the rich get theirs.


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