Monday, February 8, 2010

Princess Carole

This week's movie was The Princess Comes Across. After last week's odd outing, this was a welcome relief.  Our Carol is the Princess Olga, on her way from Sweden to become an actress in Hollywood. Except, we quickly find out she is actually Wanda Nash from Brooklyn, a wannabe actress who will do anything to get her Hollywood break - even pretending to be a bargain-basement Greta Garbo.  On the cruise ship, our little princess meets King Mantell, a successful concertina player, who is eager to get better acquainted.  It doesn't take too much convincing for the Princess to decide that she really rather likes concertinas (despite the disgust of her traveling companion, Lady Gertrude, aka Gertie, played with great verve by Alison Skipworth).   Let's look at a scene from the start of the film:

It appears we are in line for a boy-meets-girl, boy-almost loses girl story, but no.  Wanda and Gertie are being blackmailed by Robert Darcy (Porter Hall, at his unctuous best). He'd already tried to pry some money out of King (who has served time in prison), but King isn't interested in paying for his silence, so Darcy goes after Wanda. And then ends up dead. In Wanda's room. And, so King decides to join the search to find the murderer.

We loved Carole Lombard's phony Swedish accent ("ney, ney") - an obvious nod to MGM's most famous Swede, the ever wonderful Ms. Garbo. And it was a pleasure to see Fred MacMurray paired with William Demarest (many, MANY years before they became a tv "couple"). MacMurray seems to be having a lot of fun with the part, as is Ms. Lombard.  The murder plot is rather convoluted, but who really cares.  I don't think you will even remember who committed the murder (or why), but you'll have a good time regardless.

A big thumbs up for this one. Join us next time for True Confessions.