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Command Performance (1931)

An actor who is the lookalike for a prince travels to a neighbouring country to woo its princess and save his own country through a strategic alliance.


Walter Lang




Cast overview:
Neil Hamilton ... Peter Fedor / Prince Alexis
Una Merkel ... Princess Katerina
Helen Ware ... Queen Elinor
Albert Gran ... King Nicholas
Lawrence Grant ... Count Vellenburg
Thelma Todd ... Lydia
Vera Lewis ... Queen Elizabeth
Mischa Auer ... Duke Charles
Burr McIntosh ... Masoch
Wilhelm von Brincken ... Capt. Boyer
Murdock MacQuarrie ... Blondel


An actor who is the lookalike for a prince travels to a neighbouring country to woo its princess and save his own country through a strategic alliance.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 January 1931 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


(1928). Stage Play: The Command Performance. Comedy. Written by Stafford Dickens. Directed by Clifford Brooke. Klaw Theatre: 3 Oct 1928- Oct 1928 (closing date unknown/29 performances). Cast: Lee Baker (as "Count Vellenburg"), William H. Barwald (as "Hildred Sabidoff"), Robert Clear (as "Blondel"), Hubert Druce (as "Nicholas, King of Wallachia"), Charlotte Granville (as "Elizabeth, Queen of Wallachia"), George Haight (as "Servant") [Broadway debut/only acting role on Broadway], Rose Keane (as "Lydia Petrovic"), Ian Keith (as "Peter Kraditch/Alexis, Prince of Moldavia"), Jessie Royce Landis (as "Katerina, Princess of Wallachia"), Zvee Scooler (as "Ansche Milosovic"), Ivan F. Simpson (as "Paul Masoch"), Walter Soderling (as "Hugo"), Beatrice Terry (as Elinor, Queen of Wallachia"), Maria Ziccardi (as "Yana Lodoffski"). Produced by Herman Shumlin. Note: Filmed by James Cruze Productions [distributed by Tiffany Pictures] as Command Performance (1931). See more »

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User Reviews

Not without a few problems, but I still enjoyed it.
21 July 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

So far there is only one other review for this film on IMDb and that writer really, really hated it. While I can understand some of their wrath, I found the film enjoyable despite its deficits. Yes, Neil Hamilton is a big hammy in his acting...they're right about that. And I should point out that this film and the play it's based upon clearly are ripping off "The Prisoner of Zenda", though it's different enough to be enjoyable--and it gives a happy ending you'll never find in the original source material.

Neil Hamilton is acting in two roles in one of the oldest and saddest clichés in films--the notion of identical strangers! It seems that a tiny kingdom is doomed to be invaded unless they can make a marriage alliance by another nearby country. However, the prince is a jerk-face--and couldn't care less if his country is invaded and so he refuses the marriage. Well, it just so happens that there is an actor who looks a lot like the prince (exactly, actually) and he goes to woo the fair princess (Una Merkel).

While the romance seems rushed and the film overly familiar, I like what the film did at the end--creating a very interesting contrast to "The Prisoner of Zenda". I also thought Merkel was excellent and lovely--far different from her usual comical and light roles. All in all, not a great film but an enjoyable one that you can download for free at archive.org.

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