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The Princess Comes Across Details


The 1936 comedy-mystery The Princess Comes Across might well have been inspired by a real-life incident during the silent-movie era, in which a crafty San Francisco stenographer hoodwinked the Hollywood elite into believing that she was a Spanish princess. Carole Lombard stars as an alluring Swedish beauty who travels under the name of Princess Olga. Everyone whom she meets en route to America on the steamship Mammoth bows and scrapes to the Princess, while Hollywood anxiously awaits her arrival to star her in a big-budget film. Only the ship's bandleader, King Mantell (Fred MacMurray), refuses to defer to Olga, sensing that she may not be all she claims. Mantell's instincts are right on target: the "Princess" is a brass-nickel phony, a Brooklyn girl named Wanda Nash who has cooked up her royal guise with drama coach Gertrude (Alison Skipworth) as a publicity stunt to crash into movies. Unfortunately, a weaselly blackmailer Darcy (Porter Hall) gloms onto Wanda's true identity and offers to keep quiet in exchange for a huge cash settlment. At the same time, Darcy is attempting to shake down several other passengers on the Mammoth, including King Mantell. Inevitably, Darcy is found murdered in the "Princess"'s stateroom, and Wanda finds herself one of several likely suspects, among them Mantell. A quintet of international detectives, travelling to a convention in America, sets out to solve the mystery, which becomes even more mysterious when one of the detectives also turns up dead. Taking matters in his own hands, Mantell vows to clear Wanda's name, and in the course of things he realizes that he's madly in love with her--but will Wanda give up her hoax, and her future showbiz career, for Mantell's sake? Among the many highlights in this engagingly daffy film is Fred MacMurray's rendition of the enchantingly forgettable song "My Concertina." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:May 22, 1936


Carole Lombard
as Princess Olga
Fred MacMurray
as King Mantell
Douglas Dumbrille
as Lorel
Alison Skipworth
as Lady Gertrude Allwyn
William Frawley
as Benton
Porter Hall
as Darcy
George Barbier
as Capt. Nicholls
Lumsden Hare
as Inspector Cragg
Sig Rumann
as Steindorf
Tetsu Komai
as Kawati
Mischa Auer
as Morevitch
Bradley Page
as The Stranger
David Clyde
as Assistant Purser
Edward Keane
as Chief Purser
Tom Herbert
as Cabin Steward
Andre Cheron
as French Couple
Gladden James
as Ship's Official
Larry Steers
as Assistant purser
Eddie Dunn
as Reporter
Pat Flaherty
as Officer
George Chandler
as Film Man
Charles Fallon
as French Baggage Official
Paul Kruger
as Assistant purser
Harry Hayden
as Master of Ceremonies at Ship Variety Show
Bennie Bartlett
as Ship's Bellhop
Creighton Hale
as Officer
Phil Tead
as Jones, the American Newsreel Man
George Sorel
as Reporter
Milburn Stone
as American Reporter
Eva Dennison
as Gossip
Monya Andre
as Woman
Dick Elliott
as Ship's Surgeon


William Howard
Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Frank R. Butler
Francis Martin
Don Hartman
Walter de Leon
Ted Tetzlaff
Leo Robin
Harry Revel
Frederick Hollander
Phil Boutelje
Phil Boutelje
Composer (Music Score)
Mack Gordon
Jack Scholl
Jack Scholl
Composer (Music Score)
Paul Weatherwax
Hans Dreier
Art Director
Ernst Fegte
Art Director
Travis Banton
Costume Designer
Harold Lewis
Sound/Sound Designer
Farciot Edouart
Special Effects
Dewey Wrigley
Special Effects
Philip MacDonald
Short Story Author