Sunday, 16 August 2009

A Royal Scandal (1945)

Another 1945 comedy I saw recently and really enjoyed was "A Royal Scandal". Very, very loosely a biopic of Catherine the Great of Russia, it stars Tallulah Bankhead as Catherine herself and William Eythe as an enthusiastic, patriotic young Leiutenant who brings urgent news to the Empress. Despite the fact that the news is nothing new to Catherine or her advisors, she takes a liking for the young man (and particularly how he looks in a white uniform). This puts him at odds with his fiance Anna (Anne Baxter), who is a lady-in-waiting at the palace. His idealistic ideas seem at odds with what is practical for the empire, but he does look so good in uniform... Seduced by Catherine, he remains a virtuous young lad who wants to set the world to rights. Not all of those around him are so scrupulous, of course...

Also starring Vincent Price as a visiting French emmisary and Charles Coburn who is absolutely brilliant as the canny chancellor, this film has sparkling dialogue throughout. The plot is pure hokum but A Royal Scandal is funny throughout, often quite hilarious. If you like films from this era, directors Ernst Lubitsch  and Otto Preminger served up a right royal feast with this one.

CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog

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