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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Princess O'Rourke (1943)

Spotlight on... Royalty on Film



Written and directed by Norman Krasna, the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Olivia De Havilland and Robert Cummings
enjoying a cherry cola in one of the
film's scenes
Princess Maria (played by De Havilland) and her uncle Holman (played by Coburn) travel to America during the nazi invasion of their native country. Maria is pushed into an arranged marriage with Count Peter de Candome (played by Curt Bois), whom she is not interested in.

On an aeroplane flight, Maria travels under the name Mary Williams, and with the help of the flight attendants and pilot, takes too many sleeping pills. When the plane is suddenly forced to return to New York, the cabin crew are unable to wake Maria due to the quantity of sleeping tablets she has taken. The plane's captain Eddie O'Rourke (played by Cummings), agrees to take care of Mary until she wakes  up. To cut a long story short, the two fall in love,  unbeknownst to Eddie that Mary is really a Princess.

A different kind of 'Cinderella' story

A question which always baffled me as a child was why are Cinderella stories always about peasant girls meeting and marrying a Prince. Are woman really that helpless and need of rescuing? Why are there never any stories about young peasant men marrying their Princess. 

Anyone else sharing these thoughts can rejoice as Princess O'Rourke is exactly about that. An aeroplane pilot meeting and marrying a Princess.

Closing remarks

Princess O'Rourke is an enjoyable feel good romantic tale which gives a new meaning to the Cinderella story. Olivia de Havilland is perfectly cast at Princess Maria. The film does get a little slow towards the end, but overall a good film.

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