6.4/10
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12 user 3 critic

Princesse Tam-Tam (1935)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 2 November 1935 (France)
A French novelist passes off a African shepherdess as a princess.

Director:

Edmond T. Gréville (as Edmond T. Greville)

Writers:

Pepito Abatino (scenario), Yves Mirande (dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Josephine Baker ... Alwina
Albert Préjean ... Max de Mirecourt (as Albert Prejean)
Robert Arnoux Robert Arnoux ... Coton
Germaine Aussey ... Lucie de Mirecourt
Georges Péclet Georges Péclet ... Dar (as Georges Peclet)
Viviane Romance ... Lucie's Friend
Jean Galland ... Maharajah of Datane
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Storyline

Max de Mirecourt, celebrated French novelist, takes a vacation from his social-butterfly wife in Tunisia, where he meets beautiful Alwina, a barefoot hill shepherdess. To cure his writer's block, Max casts Alwina as heroine in a real-life 'Pygmalion' story. She reacts to civilized ways and emotions with charming simplicity. Now Max, stung by reports of his wife's affair with a dark-skinned maharajah, has the idea of launching Alwina in Paris society as a princess. Will civilization spoil her wild charms? Who will pair off with whom? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

2 November 1935 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Princess Tam-Tam See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Productions Arys See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The popular European singing group, Comedian Harmonists, performed during the large musical production toward the end of the film. The group, of German origin, was disbanded by the Nazis quite soon after working on this picture because three of the members were Jewish. See more »

Quotes

French Tourist: Smelling musk makes me lose my appetite.
Alwina: What is musk?
Max de Mirecourt: The smell of wild animals.
Alwina: So, I'm a wild animal?
Max de Mirecourt: Maybe you're wild, but you're no animal.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1989, Kino International Corp. in association with The George Eastman House Film Archive, Rochester, New York, issued a video with English subtitles by Helen Eisenman. See more »

Connections

Edited into Moulin Rouge (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Sous Le Ciel d'Afrique
Sung and Danced by Josephine Baker
Written by André de Badet and Jacques Belasco
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Re-Working of the 'Pygmalion' Story, & A Decent Vehicle For Baker
28 March 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The story in this feature is an interesting re-working of the familiar 'Pygmalion' story, making some fairly imaginative changes in the setting and details to add some new themes to the story. It is also a decent vehicle for the vivacious and multi-talented Josephine Baker. Although the material does not give her a chance to display her full range of talents (which would probably take a stage show, rather than a movie), it does provide her with some pretty good musical numbers, and it gives her a role that is a good fit.

Albert Préjean and Robert Arnoux make a good team, as the writer and his collaborator who travel to Africa so that Préjean's character can benefit from a change of atmosphere. As the Bedouin Alwina, whom the two Frenchmen meet, Baker's spirited energy works very well. As the story progresses, the kinds of slights and frustrations that her character faces inevitably remind you of the undeserved problems that Baker herself had to contend with in her own life, giving it an interesting extra dimension.

Préjean and Arnoux balance things well with their light, bantering approach. Préjean, in particular, does a good job with his character, showing that there is some sensitivity underneath his somewhat lazy, self-absorbed exterior.

The story moves at a good pace, leading up to the climax at the Maharajah's lavish party, which includes a couple of creative touches. The concluding series of plot turns resolves things in a light fashion, while also suggesting a couple of ideas which, as long as you are careful not to misunderstand them, are worth thinking about. The movie avoids taking itself too seriously, and that helps it work rather well.


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