6.4/10
129
5 user 2 critic

The Girl Downstairs (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 23 December 1938 (USA)
A wealthy playboy surreptitiously romances a scullery maid to gain access to her mistress with whom he is in love, but doesn't count on the maid falling in love with him.

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Harold Goldman, Sándor Hunyady (story) (as Sandor Hunyady) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franciska Gaal ... Katerina Linz
Franchot Tone ... Paul Wagner
Walter Connolly ... Mr. Brown
Reginald Gardiner ... Willie
Rita Johnson ... Rosalind Brown
Reginald Owen ... Charlie Grump
Franklin Pangborn ... Adolf Pumpfel
Robert Coote ... Karl, Paul's Butler
Barnett Parker ... Hugo, the Butler
James B. Carson James B. Carson ... Rudolph
Billy Gilbert ... Garage Proprietor
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Storyline

Paul Wagner and Rosalind Brown are in love, but her father doesn't feel Paul's lifestyle will make him a suitable husband for his daughter. When Mr. Brown instructs all the servants in his extensive household, except the missing Katerina Linz, not to let Paul in his house again, Paul dons his chauffeur's clothing and takes Katerina to a local fair where they both have a good time. Paul learns she is a farm girl working temporarily as a scullery maid to earn money to replace a cow that died. He takes her home and sees Rosalind while Katarina fixes something for them to eat. The next day, Rosalind asks Katerina to deliver a letter to Paul because all the other servants are busy. At Paul's apartment, he continues the ruse saying the master is out, but his womanizing friend Charlie arrives and is taken by Katerina to be the Paul Wagner for whom the note is intended. Katerina slaps Charlie when he steals a kiss, and when Paul laughs he is "fired" by Charlie, who was playing along with the ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

maid | servant | playboy | opera | deception | See All (7) »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Katherine the Last See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Luise Rainer turned down the female lead. See more »

Quotes

Katerina Linz: What happens when it wants to pass another car?
Garage Proprietor: Nobody's ever found out.
See more »

Connections

Remake of Catherine the Last (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

The Marriage of Figaro
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Overture played at the opera house
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bit hard to care about the leading man in this one....which makes the film a tough sell to the audience.
8 May 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When the story begins, Paul Wagner (Franchot Tone) is trying to woo a rich young lady. However, in the process he manages to completely alienate her father and he is so infuriated with Paul that he instructs all his household staff to keep him off the property...all but the lowly scullery maid, Katerina (Franciska Gaal). So, Paul pretends he's a chauffeur and begins romancing Katerina in order to also be able to sneak into his girlfriend's house late at night. In other words, Paul acts like a jerk and antagonizes a lady's father. To get around this, he uses a maid and strings her along. Wow...what a piece of work!! In fact, this is a big problem with the story...Paul is just too unlikable and it's hard to watch a romance where you dislike one of the leads.

An additional problem with the story is Gaal's character. While she's in her mid 30s, here she is dressed and acts like a teenage and simple-minded version of Heidi...and it comes off as a bit weird.

So is this worth seeing? Not especially. It's not so much terrible...more fatally flawed from the outset.


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