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Adventure for Two (1943)

The Demi-Paradise (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 December 1943 (UK)
Ivan Kouznetsoff (Sir Laurence Olivier), 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... 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 (Sir Laurence Olivier), 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 (Penelope Dudley-Ward), 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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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
See full technical specs »
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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 »

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User Reviews

 
This Could Be the Start of a Beautiful Friendship
25 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In between making That Hamilton Woman and Henry V both of which could be argued were better contributions to the propaganda front of the British war effort, Laurence Olivier made this film about a Soviet engineer who designs a new type ship propeller and the government contracts with a British firm to build and install it on a ship. This is taking place in 1939 before any general war breaks out in Europe.

Two things I found interesting about The Demi-Paradise. Firstly the fact that the proper name of the country, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR, or the Soviet Union is never used once in the film. Olivier always refers to his country as Russia, as do the others in the cast. Secondly, you never hear one word about the German-Soviet non- aggression pact. I suppose that might have been better than the clumsy explanations given in the American film Mission to Moscow.

But whether Czarist or Marxist it's a different world that Olivier steps into when he arrives in the United Kingdom. He's pretty suspicious at first, but his interaction with British people in all walks of life gradually wins him over. Not the least of which is pretty Penelope Ward who's conducting a campaign of her own as far as Olivier is concerned.

Hardly the greatest film Olivier ever did. Then again he nor anyone else managed to get themselves blacklisted over it, did they?


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