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"Thirty Day Princess"

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Character's Name: Porter Madison III
Release Date:  May 18, 1934
Director: Marion Gering
Studio:  Paramount Publix
Running Time: 74 minutes

Cast: Sylvia Sidney (Nancy Lane/Princess) (Catterina Theodora) (Margerita Zizzi), Cary Grant (Porter Madison III), Edward Arnold (Richard Gresham), Henry Stephenson (King Anatole XII), Vince Barnett (Count Nicholaus, Edgar Norton (Baron), Robert McWade (Managing Editor), George Baxter (Spottswood)

- by ZoŽ Shaw
Princess Caterina arrives in the U.S. and gets the mumps. A look-alike substitute, Nancy Lane, is found to take her place with Porter Madison when they go on a sleigh ride. Porter is a big publisher, Nancy a showgirl. They fall in love, but both think the object of their desire is out of their league. They can get married in the end though.....

- by Cheryl Trahan
A banker brings the Princess of mythical kingdom Taronia to the United States for goodwill, hoping the country will approve a $50M loan. Cary is a newspaper executive who is skeptical of lending the money to the tiny bankrupt country. Upon arrival to the US, the princess is struck with the mumps and must go into quarantine. The banker hires an actress, Sylvia Sidney, to impersonate the princess. Cary falls in love with the "princess" and approves of the loan to the public. The "princess" also falls in love with Cary, but knows that it is impossible for the situation to work. The real Princess recovers and attends the awards banquet of the loan. She tells Cary that Sylvia Sidney is a good person and he should be glad that she is not the real Princess or he would never be allowed to marry her. He is confused, but eventually forgives Sylvia and the ending kiss is "WOW." The movie is dated, but again, it is forerunner to the screwball comedies that Cary excels at later. I enjoyed the movie and thought Cary and Sylvia Sidney made an outstanding couple.

VARIETY Film Review - May 15, 1934
- by "Abel"
- submitted by Barry Martin
Neat little picture.  Combination Cinderella and Zenda theme against a contemporaneous American setting, replete with big business, bond flotations, enterprising metropolitan newspaper publishers, etc.  It's a combo that's usually sure-fire and repeats again here. 

Even in the infrequent lapses where stark realism gives way just a bit to the musical comedy hokum of the basic premise, the merger of talents - histrionic, scriptic and directorial - are sufficiently canny to make the auditor want to slight the lapses and believe it throughout.  It's just one of those yarns.  

The star, Sylvia Sidney, plays the dual stellar role most convincingly.  The coincidence of the striking resemblance to a visiting princess from some tiny Tyrolean principality is one of those situations of fact and fiction which Edwin Arnold, as the big banker, convincingly plants through the medium of stating - as he looks out into the great city - that somewheres among those 8,000,000 people there must be another who looks sufficiently like the crown princess to impersonate her.

The subterfuge is necessitated by an attack of mumps which would have halted the 'good will' tour of the foreign royalty contingent.  Thus a very badly broke bit actress, Nancy Lane, finds herself the titular '30-Day Princess.'  (The month's lapse is necessary until the real royal highness gets over her indisposition of a swollen royal physog.)

It is thus that the pseudo-princess meets the crusading young publisher and so the romance runs its pleasant course.  

Against this situation are sundry sidelights, including Vince Barnett's swell hoke; a comedy situation with an $18,000 set of rare crystal glasses; a too enterprising reporter on Grant's paper who is wise to the phony princess, etc.

Casting it tiptop.  Miss Sidney is thoroughly convincing in the dual role.  As a general thing these assignments border at one stage or another on the silly; here she's impressive as the fraud and even more so when the denouement eventuates as it necessarily must in order to preserve the lily-white romance.  Cary Grant sustains his manly end equally as well.

The 74 mins. are not too long, careful scripting, montage and cutting combining to turn out a compact little picture which will entertain generally.  The Sidney-Grant marquee pull should get 'em and once in they'll enjoy it.  At the Par opening night the finale was heartily salvoed, not a usual occurrence at this Broadway deluxer.  

NEW YORK TIMES Film Review - May 12, 1934
- by Mordaunt Hall
- submitted by Barry Martin
In a congenial pictorial comedy known as "Thirty Day Princess," which is now adorning the Paramount screen, Sylvia Sidney plays a dual role. Sometimes she is beheld as Princess Catterina, who hails from an imaginary kingdom called Taronia, and on other occasions she appears as Nancy Lane, a New York actress who is out of work. It is a film which gives Miss Sidney a busy time, and also one which has its fund of amusing incidents.

"Thirty Day Princess" is an adaptation of a story by Clarence Budington Kelland, and his keen sense of humor has been permitted to live in the shadow transcription. This amiable light affair has a generous share of imaginative turns, and it is further endowed with a highly competent supporting cast.

It is not every day that one hears of a banker and a king meeting while they are in a mud bath! In this feature the King, acted by Henry Stephenson, shakes the muddy hand of the banker, Richard Gresham (Edward Arnold), and thus starts the conversation that leads to Princess Catterina coming to New York to assist in obtaining a $50,000,000 loan for her native land.

All seems to be going well, when suddenly the Princess falls ill, and later it is discovered that she has the humble mumps. Nothing serious, but enough to prevent the Princess from going from place to place. Gresham eventually decides to send forth sleuths to search for a girl who resembles the Princess. As he looks out of the window of his skyscraper office at buildings and streets he mumbles that somewhere in the great city there must be the Princess' double. And there is. She is Nancy Lane, who, having made rather free with the food in a restaurant, imagines that the two men want to arrest her.

When Nancy poses as the Princess there are the mild surprises and good fun, especially when Nancy insists on toasting all the kings from her supposed line and tossing the glasses over her shoulder, a ceremony which is both contagious and costly.

Cary Grant portrays Porter Madison, a newspaper publisher, who becomes greatly enamored of the pretty impostor. There also is the occasion on which the actress Princess frowns upon a Count who is presumed to be her fiancť. All that need be said about him is that he is personated by the comic but hardly handsome Vince Barnett.

It is a well-developed Ruritanian yarn, and Marion Gering's direction is efficient. Mr. Stephenson, Miss Sidney, Mr. Barnett and Edgar Norton are called upon to speak broken English, but, being a frothy affair, it really does not matter whether or not Taronia has any special language. These players all do well by their roles. Mr. Grant gives an excellent performance. George Baxter and Ray Walker act well respectively as an actor and a reporter.

The Paramount's stage offerings consist of Phil Harris and his orchestra, Leah Ray, Freddie Sanborn, Al Bernie, Georgie Tapps, Moore and Revel, and Four Betty Boop Girls.  

- by Kathy Fox
This is Cary Grant's 14th film and his third film with Sylvia Sidney, the others being MERRILY WE GO TO HELL and MADAME BUTTERFLY in 1932.  Cary is getting better roles now and is becoming the leading man that he should be.  THIRTY-DAY PRINCESS is about the Princess Catterina of Taronia who comes to America to find support for her country's bonds when she gets the mumps.  Enter Porter Madison, a publisher, who is acquainted with the Princess's mission.  A substitute is found for the Princess by Richard Gresham a banker who is backing the bonds, and Madison (Cary Grant) proceeds to fall in love with her and vice versa.  However, Grant does not know that he has fallen in love with the substitute princess rather than the original one.  This is a cutesy film, with Cary being his usual charming self and with this film we begin to see the beginning of the debonair Grant.  I certainly wish the rest of Cary's films would be put on VHS so that we could have better tapes.  Since they are not available, we are stuck with second and third generation films.  But something is better than nothing.  Perhaps some day.

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