Spinster poetess Susan Grieve lives in a Manhattan apartment where naval hero Slick Novak comes with her for a nightcap. Next morning they visit her Connecticut farm where Novak tells her ... See full summary »
Jean Simmons (a school teacher) takes a secretarial job in a nightclub. The two club owners quibble about a lot, including her. Unfortunately, she develops an interest for the partner who disapproves of her employment at the club.
Poor Princess Maria is visiting New York, but she's not having any fun. So her uncle suggests she spend a few days in San Francisco. Unfortunately she's nervous about going by plane. To calm her jitters, she takes a sleeping pill before the plane takes off. Sensing her nervousness, the pilot, navigator and stewardess all secretly give her pills. When bad weather forces the plane to head back to New York, the sleepy princess is left in the care of pilot Edward O'Rourke who takes her to his apartment to spend the night. When she comes to the next day, she finds a note left by O'Rourke asking her to meet him after work. The princess decides to find out what she's been missing and sneaks off to him. To keep her identity a secret, she tells O'Rourke that she's a poor waif sent from Europe to work as a maid in San Francisco. What she doesn't count on is that before the day is through O'Rourke will ask her to marry him.Written by
This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Thursday 23 August 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Cincinnati Tuesday 11 September 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Los Angeles Sunday 14 October 1956 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Wichita Tuesday 20 November 1956 on KAKE (Channel 10), and in Portland OR Monday 31 December 1956 on KLOR (Channel 12). See more »
Robert Cummings bumps into a standing President Franklin D. Roosevelt who was either confined to a wheelchair or could walk with braces with help while on someone's arm. His infirmity was not common knowledge to the American people. See more »
Yes, it's a wartime movie, with some fairly subtle propaganda thrown in. Yes, it's a formula romance. Well, I'm afraid I love formula romances. And I guess I can even respect propaganda when it's done with panache and sincerity.
Norman Krasna's screenplay is the real star. Watching the film I was constantly amazed at how the dialog sparkled, how the situations never worked out in quite the way I expected, how the characters always seemed just a little warmer and more human than they might have in many similar films of this era.
The cast is excellent as well, consisting entirely of Hollywood stalwarts, every one of them at their most endearing. Jack Carson, Charles Coburn and Jane Wyman are all great, of course. But Olivia De Havilland is also perfectly cast, lovable on one hand, regal on the other... yet without that slightly simpering quality that made her less likable in, say, The Adventures of Robin Hood, or Gone With the Wind. Robert Cummings was a fine comedic actor who is not well-remembered today, perhaps because he was less multidimensional than someone like James Stewart; but he's used to excellent advantage here. He's not just portraying the perfect everyman Yank; he IS that (perhaps mythical) person, the Guy From Brooklyn. And, yes, the perfect wartime Yank, who's just got to join up and be in "the biggest fight of all time, and the most important." Just as Bogart had to go be a hero at the end of Casablanca. These wartime films earn much of their charm by being unashamedly part of their times.
But ultimately, it's the little touches that raise this film far above the ordinary. The extended gag with the multiple sleeping pills; the silly little bits with the president's dog... These don't distract from the warmth of the film, they add to it.
Perhaps we undervalue a film like Princess O'Rourke simply because the material and the style are so familiar. We need to step back and admire the Hollywood dream-factory at its finest, working to a certain format, yet also bringing together the talented individuals who could make that format sing.
I'll take a wonderfully-executed "formula" film like Princess O'Rourke any day, over self-consciously brilliant films that forget the basics of how to entertain.
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