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Adventure for Two (1943)

The Demi-Paradise (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 December 1943 (UK)
Ivan Kouznetsoff, a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naive about British people, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Asquith

Writer:

Anatole de Grunwald (as Anatole De Grunwald)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Olivier ... Ivan Kouznetsoff
Penelope Dudley-Ward ... Ann Tisdall (as Penelope Ward)
Marjorie Fielding Marjorie Fielding ... Mrs. Tisdall
Margaret Rutherford ... Rowena Ventnor
Felix Aylmer ... Mr. Runalow
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Herbert Tisdall
Leslie Henson ... Self
Guy Middleton ... Dick Christian
Michael Shepley ... Mr. Walford
Edie Martin ... Miss Winifred Tisdall
Muriel Aked ... Mrs. Tisdall-Stanton
Joyce Grenfell ... Sybil Paulson
Everley Gregg ... Mrs. Flannel
Jack Watling ... Tom Sellars
David Keir David Keir ... Jordan
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Storyline

Ivan Kouznetsoff, a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naive about British people, and convinced by hearsay that they are shallow and hypocritical, Ivan is both bemused and amused by them. He is blunt in his opinions about Britons, and at first this puts off his hosts, including the lovely Ann Tisdall, whose grandfather runs the shipbuilding firm that will make use of Ivan's propeller. The longer Ivan stays, however, the more he comes to understand the humor, warmth, strength, and conviction of the British people, and the more they come to see him as a friend, rather than merely a suspicious Russian. As a romantic bond grows between Ivan and Ann, a cultural bond begins to grow as well, particularly as the war begins, and Russia is attacked by Germany. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roland Culver was cut out of this movie. See more »

Goofs

Beatrice Harrison's cello-and-nightingale broadcasts were mostly in the 1920s, but in any case no live broadcast would have been made during an air raid since it would give information to the enemy. (For this reason recordings were used for Big Ben chimes instead of the live feed when an air raid was in progress.) See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Tisdall: Here's a book for you, dear, "Crime and Punishment". It's about a Russian who kills an old woman with an axe. Good Night, dear!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Joking decides great things stronger and better oft than earnest can . . ." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinema: Sir Laurence Olivier (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in C-Sharp Minor
(uncredited)
Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff
See more »

User Reviews

 
Unbelievable propaganda ifo Russia, which would change 2 years later
15 April 2020 | by adrianovasconcelosSee all my reviews

THE DEMI-PARADISE (original title, UK 1943) is an opportunistic piece of propaganda, with the great Laurence Olivier playing a Russian engineer trying to build a propeller for an ice breaker to operate in the Baltic, with the assistance of obviously superior British engineers.

In the midst of the propaganda against the backdrop of a war that until 1942 had not gone in Great Britain's favor, you even get to see historic pageants, and an apology for the UK colonizing half of the planet.

This film is an interesting document of the mindset of the day, when Great Britain was still the empire on which the sun never set, but it does not really work from a cinematographic standpoint. Photography is average, acting so-so, and the screenplay carries some extremely cheesy holes.

Strikingly elegant Penelope Dudley-Ward conveniently represents Britain's openness to a loving relationship with the USSR, but there's really no chemistry spark between her and Olivier. It's as totally unconvincing a love affair as this is as piece of film-making.

Perhaps the most interesting comment to be made about THE DEMI-PARADISE is that by 1945 Winston Churchill was referring to the Soviet Union as the "iron curtain," and warning about the dangers of the USSR's occupation of Eastern Europe, and by 1948 the Cold War had started in earnest.

Really strange bedfellows, therefore. Thankfully, Dudley-Ward is very easy on the eye, especially when she smiles, but even her beautiful face cannot save this overlong piece of propaganda.

I suffered watching it because of Covid-prompted confinement but rest assured that I'll not watch it again.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

20 December 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventure for Two See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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