The Swan

1956, USA, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian (104’); Screening: 09.07, 19.15, Toldi Cinema, Kisterem. Introduction by Mátyás Sárközi.

A real princess plays a princess. What about that for a tagline for The Swan? And even though literally speaking this was not actually the case, the studio made much of the fact that Grace Kelly playing Princess Alexandra said yes to the marriage proposal of Prince Rainer III of Monaco not long after the film was released. So she was a princess not only in fiction but in real life as well. The arrangement of the slightly bitter novel by Ferenc Molnár is a grand masterful comedy in which Beatrix attempts to regain the throne for her daughter. Just as in the Molnár piece, so too in this most faithful adaptation it is left to the teacher from Cegléd to bring love to the surface using the bait of jealousy.  It is worth quoting the words of Zita, last queen of Hungary, because they are most appropriate here: “A sovereign can never abdicate. He can be deposed and his sovereign rights be declared forfeit. All right, that is force. But abdicate – never, never, never!”

Directed by: Charles Vidor (Vidor Károly)
Written by: Ferenc Molnár (play)
Screenplay by: John Dighton
Director of photography: Joseph Ruttenberg, Robert Surtees
Music by: Bronislau Kaper
Cast: Grace Kelly, Alec Guinness, Louis Jourdan, Agnes Moorehead, Jessie Royce Landis, Brian Aherne
Genre: comedy
Production: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Format: colour, 2.35:1

 

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