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Café Metropole

Café Metropole

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Café Metropole, Victor Lobard, the smooth and nimble owner of the Café Metropole in Paris, has only ten days to replace a small fortune he embezzled from the business; he and a clerk face prison if he fails. He thinks he’s won the money at a casino then learns he’s in possession of a rubber check written by Alexander Brown, a well-mannered but penniless Yank. Lobard cooks up a scheme: to have Brown pretend to be a Russian prince, woo a visiting American, and get her rich father to give Brown the money Lobard needs. Several problems: Brown’s not a very good impostor, a real Russian prince presents himself, and the two young people fall in love. Does prison await or do wild strawberries?

STARS: Loretta Young, Tyrone Power, Adolphe Menjou

83 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1937 | Color


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Wit flows like champagne
A very pleasant, old-fashioned comedy of manners. A delightful group of players make the most of a screenplay that is filled to the brim with chucklesome dialogue. Director Edward H. Griffith has wisely chosen to play the whole thing straight without undue emphases or heavily weighted advance signals. You have to keep right on your toes to digest such gems as Loretta Young's casual remark that Tyrone's hat makes him look like "an eccentric pall-bearer" (and watch for the shop assistant's astute manipulation of the said hat under cover of the ensuing conversation). I loved Charles Winninger's flat aside on European nobility: "If they're charming, they're fake. If they're genuine, they're dumb!" (A dictum which he later expatiates at greater length: "He was the dumbest, stupidest dope I ever had the misfortune to shake hands with!")
In a roll of velvet like this, much depends on the skills of director and cast. With Café Metropole they cut the cloth perfectly, abetted by stylish, class "A" production values including Lucien Andriot's fine camera-work, glossily attractive sets and a caressingly tuneful music score.

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