Thirty Day Princess
UCLA Festival of Preservation
(Marion Gering, 1934, USA, 35mm, 74 min)
Part of our Comedy Gold Double Feature!
Sunday, Nov 10 at 07:00PM
In Thirty Day Princess, the offer of big money bribes an actress to impersonate royalty while engaging with a handsome businessman, played by Cary Grant.
Four different writers shared credit for the ebullient yet simple script of Thirty Day Princess, including the great cinematic satirist Preston Sturges. In his autobiography, Sturges stated that he and producer B.P Schulberg disagreed on the final writing credits of the film and that very little of his work was ultimately utilized. Although the old prince-and-the-pauper plot of switched identities was already becoming somewhat trite in Hollywood, critics were mostly kind to the film, claiming it a "neat little combination of Cinderella and Zenda."
Under contract to Paramount at the time, a young Cary Grant was struggling to secure a studio identity in second-tier "tuxedo roles" (several of which were turned down by Gary Cooper). Thirty Day Princess was just such a film. During this period, studio head Adolph Zukor desired to keep Grant for as little money as possible. Knowing that a contract negotiation was forthcoming, Zukor turned down MGM's request to let Grant star in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) knowing that it would make him a huge star (Franchot Tone would end up receiving an Oscar nomination for the role). A furious Grant refused to renew his contract with Paramount and would go onto receive almost immediate critical and box-office successes at Columbia and RKO that would define his comedy prowess and leading man charisma.
Preservation funding for Thirty Day Princess provided by the Packard Humanities Institute.
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122