- by ZoŽ
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
- by Cheryl
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
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
It is thus that the pseudo-princess
meets the crusading young publisher and so the romance runs its
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
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
- 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
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
- 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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