This charming and light-hearted Ruritanian-set romantic comedy is a remake of the 1931 movies 'Ihre Hoheit befiehlt' and 'Princesse, a vos ordres!'. This version from Fox Film Corporation stars Janet Gaynor and Henri Garat, who reprises his role from the French original. It is helmed by the German director William Dieterle, who exhibits considerable artistic understanding with his stylish and refined direction. With polished gems such as 'Jewel Robbery' and 'Six Hours to Live' already decorating his resume and timeless classics such as 'All That Money Can Buy' and 'Portrait of Jennie' still to be realised, it is truly fascinating to view this movie and observe a developing master at play.
Plot-wise, Gaynor and Garat star as Princess Marie Christine and Lieutenant Conradi, respectively. Attending a commoner ball incognito, they meet and become enchanted by one another over the course of a merry evening. The Princess says that she works in a hair salon and the Lieutenant describes himself as a green-grocer. When the Princess flits away into the enveloping night leaving only a note with her place of work for the smitten Conradi, the wheels of romantic misunderstanding are most definitely set in motion.
On the acting side of things, both principals work well in their roles. They are ably supported by one of cinema's greatest character actors, C. Aubrey Smith, who contributes yet another anchoring performance as the Prime Minister, Von Heynitz. Gaynor is cute and characteristically enchanting. Her Princess is engaging and not without a rebellious streak! Garat, making his first appearance in a Hollywood production, is amusing and likable in a somewhat aloof kind of a way. His Lieutenant appears suitably bewildered at stages and Garat's facial expressions had me chuckling. He occasionally resembled a toy soldier or puppet being played with by those at the Palace. To see more of Garat, I would recommend the somewhat similarly-themed comedy 'Un Mauvais Garcon' from 1936.
Eighty years after its premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York, 'Adorable' still stands up as a delectable cinematic offering. The sets and the cinematic playfulness that allows the Princess's shoes to dance daintily and her bed sway gently with the music are the elements that really endeared this movie to me. View it if you possibly can and allow its gentle magic touch your heart and bring forth many smiles of enjoyment.
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