6.4/10
105
4 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

Hollywood remake of a darker German film
16 May 2013 | by duganekSee all my reviews

Franciska Gaal came to stardom in Europe for her portrayal of Katharina in a much darker though no less romantic German film called Katharina Die Letzte -- Catherine the Last (a pun on Catherine the First, Empress of all the Russias). In the German version, Gaal as the schlub of a scullery wench is much dirtier, more clumsy, and totally believable as an overlooked bumpkin skivvy. Her metamorphosis through loving the blackguard cad is, therefore, more amazing and heartrending. Dear Franchot Tone is hardly believable as a immoral seducer, out to marry an heiress only for her money and willing to betray the innocent country girl to obtain his black ends. His German counterpart oozes villainy and smarminess, forced by Katherina's utter belief in his goodness to mend his ways until the ultimate scene. All the same jokes are there in the Hollywood version, scene for scene, but the morphing of the villain into a hero in the German version is what makes that film an exalting and memorable experience, traveling from dark cynicism to -- yes -- a happy Hollywood ending!


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