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Princess Caraboo (1994)

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Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Austin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Broadbent ... Mr. Worrall
Phoebe Cates ... Princess Caraboo / Mary Baker
Wendy Hughes ... Mrs. Worrall
Kevin Kline ... Frixos
John Lithgow ... Professor Wilkinson
Stephen Rea ... Gutch
Peter Eyre ... Lord Apthorpe
Jacqueline Pearce ... Lady Apthorpe
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Magistrate Haythorne (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
John Wells John Wells ... Reverend Hunt
John Lynch ... Amon McCarthy
John Sessions ... Prince Regent
Arkie Whiteley Arkie Whiteley ... Betty
Kate Ashfield ... Ella
Ewan Bailey ... Ship's Captain
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Storyline

Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it is understood that the woman is a princess from a far away land. She is then welcomed by a family of haughty aristocrats that only wants to heighten their prestige. However, the local reporter is not at all convinced she is what she claims to be and investigates. Is Caraboo really a princess? Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was everything they dreamed of... And nothing they expected.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild sensuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Princesse Caraboo See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,021,629
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The beige dress with two buttons at the waist worn by Kate Ashfield (Ella, the maid) is the same gown Sylvestra Le Touzel (Fanny Price) wears in Mansfield Park (1983). See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Worrall: Mr. Worrall, after ten years of marriage, the time has come for me to say enough is enough. I have arranged lodgings for you in Bristol. The servants will remain with me, of course... with the exception of Betty. You'll need a housekeeper.
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Connections

Referenced in 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: "Hysterical" Women (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Air (from The Ephesian Matron)
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Isaac Bickerstaffe
Music by Charles Dibden
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User Reviews

 
For those who love a story
30 July 2004 | by illusoryjaneSee all my reviews

"Princess Caraboo" is about the selfish and fashionable endeavors of the aristocracy of 19th century England, about the role of true charity and from whence it comes, and perhaps most of all it is about humankind's fascination with the story. Although we catch glimpses of, and come to care for, the true character of Caraboo (Cates), the movie's namesake serves mainly as a vessel through which the subject of the film can flow.

In this movie a young beggar who speaks no English is taken in by a well-to-do family, and before long they have determined that she is a queen of the Orient. In no time, she is the town's sensation, and if nothing else, living like royalty. Her story attracts the attention of a newspaper man (Mr. Gutch played by Stephen Rea) who, in determinedly trying to discover the truth about Caraboo, falls in love with her. He half hopes the legend is true, half hopes that she's remarkable enough to have made up a story and a language and a manner to fool the very class she'd always been taught to fear and respect.

I liked this movie for many reasons. It must be said that it's decidedly predictable, but such is the case in movies that are not so much concerned with plot as with characters. The question is, are the characters worth making a movie about? They are. Cates is delightful as always, and in such a role in which she scarcely speaks, she has the opportunity to shine and to demonstrate (through action and manner) her ability to act the part. Stephen Rea is never to be outdone, and has a genuine ability to pull off passion in whatever role he plays. The British aristocracy is portrayed as largely grotesque and corrupt and mind-numbingly self-absorbed.

For my part, I always appreciate a movie that doesn't revolve around romance, and though this movie is touched with pieces of romanticism (definitely a chick-flick in certain ways), it's not about the romance. It is instead about how the story completes us, and how compelling the human imagination really is. Despite the moral values the film purports, Princess Caraboo is not didactic and short on sappiness.

I think "Princess Caraboo" is a delightful and beautiful tale, and I recommend it to those who prefer the story to the action, and who like to see the rich get theirs.


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