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Thirty Day Princess (1934)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 18 May 1934 (USA)
A European princess arrives in New York City to secure a much-needed loan for her country. She contracts the mumps, and an actress who looks exactly like her is hired to impersonate her.


Marion Gering


Preston Sturges (screenplay), Frank Partos (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Sidney ... Nancy Lane / Princess Catterina
Cary Grant ... Porter Madison III
Edward Arnold ... Richard M. Gresham
Henry Stephenson ... King Anatol XII
Vince Barnett ... Count Nicholaus
Edgar Norton ... Baron Passeria
Ray Walker ... Dan Kirk
Lucien Littlefield ... Parker
Robert McWade ... Managing Editor
George Baxter ... Donald Spottswood
Marguerite Namara Marguerite Namara ... Lady in Waiting
Learn more

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On a visit to a spa in the Ruritanian Kingdom of Tyronia, American financier Richard Gresham meets the country's ruler, King Anatol XII, and convinces him that he could arrange for $50 million dollars in loans to benefit his impoverished nation if the king's charming daughter could do reciprocal public relations in the States. Unfortunately Princess Catterina falls ill with the mumps and is quarantined for a month aboard ship. Rather than risk having his very lucrative endorsement deal fall through, Gresham hires out-of-work lookalike actress Nancy Lane to impersonate Catterina. Complications arise when she falls in love with investigative reporter Porter Madison, who is looking into Nancy Lane's disappearance. She tries to maintain the precariously delicate balance of playing the two parts convincingly with both the loan and her heart at stake. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A fake princess hired to vamp a handsome bachelor..she kissed him and a bond issue was floated! She kissed him again...but this time bonds were not the issue! (Print Ad-Nashua Telegraph, ((Nashua NH)) 15 September 1934) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Ashville, North Carolina Monday 17 August 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13); its following airings were infrequent but interest in seeing Cary Grant in one of his earlier roles in an otherwise obscure film, eventually brought it out of the vaults in Omaha 2 November 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), in Des Moines 8 March 1960 on WHO (Channel 13), in Johnstown 16 June 1960 on WJAC (Channel 6), and in Detroit 2 December 1960 on WJBK (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 19 April 2016 as one of 18 [Paramount] films in Universal's Cary Grant - The Vault Collection. See more »


King Anatol: It's extraordinary how much you look like Zizi! Tell me, have you any royal blood in your veins?
Princess Catterina: I don't think so, Your Majesty.
King Anatol: Well, my dear, one can never tell.
See more »

User Reviews

A different Sturges take on "The Lady Eve" premise
6 December 2006 | by duke1029See all my reviews

"Thirty Day Princess" can easily fit into the oeuvre of master comedy writer Preston Sturges although this film predates his 1940 directorial debut by six years. The basic comic premise of one woman impersonating two very different people on opposite ends of the social scale (while convincing the man she's romantically involved with that they are different people) is difficult material to bring off. Within that context Sturges inserts his unique satiric sensibilities on sex and social mores.

Sylvia Sydney, like Barbara Stanwyck seven years later in Sturges' wildly successful "The Lady Eve," succeeds admirably in using accent and mannerisms to distinguish the two characters. Additionall, both talented actresses have the chameleon-like ability to actually look different in both roles without resorting to any major make-up changes. Unfortunately, Cary Grant, at this stage of his career, had not as yet developed his screen persona to a degree that he could capture as much of the Sturges zaniness that Henry Fonda did in the 1941 film.

While Sidney is portraying two completely different people in "Thirty Day Princes," the audience in "The Lady Eve" knows that Barbara Stanwyck's character is essentially playing two different facets of her own personality. so the similarities in her two roles are dramatically plausible. Although it is highly improbable that Sidney's characters, Nancy Lane and Princess Catterina, could look so much alike under ordinary circumstances, Sturges inserts a sly bit of covert sexual innuendo at the film's climax with a subtle dialogue exchange between Nancy and King Anatole suggesting that she possibly is the King's illegitimate daughter, illegitimately sired during a previous trip to America. Sturges was a master at getting questionable material like this discreetly past the censors of his day.

Stealing the show, however, is character actor Vince Barnett, usually assigned to play low level gangsters and bumbling waiters, as Catterina's obnoxiously infantile fiancé, Prince Nicholeus. He delivers a hilarious performance, alternating accents from Mittel-English Ruritanian to Brooklynese. Considering Sturgis' loyalty to eccentric character actors during his heyday at Paramount, it seems unusual that he would not have written additional roles for Barnett in his series of screwball comedies in the early 40's as Barnett did occasionally turn up in Paramount films like Bob Hope's 1942 MY FAVORITE BLONDE.

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Release Date:

18 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

30 Dias Princesa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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