- The Swan (film)
name = The Swan
John Dighton Ferenc Molnar(play)
Grace Kelly Alec Guinness Louis Jourdan Jessie Royce Landis Estelle Winwood Brian Aherne Agnes Moorehead
Joseph Ruttenberg Robert Surtees
John D. Dunning
released = flagicon|USA
26 April 1956
runtime = 104 min
USA United States
language = English
imdb_id = 0049815
"The Swan" is a 1956
remakeby MGMof a 1925 film (also remade in 1930 as " One Romantic Night"). The film is a romantic comedy directed by Charles Vidor, produced by Dore Scharyfrom a screenplayby John Dightonbased on the play by Ferenc Molnár. The original music score was by Bronislau Kaper, the cinematography by Joseph Ruttenbergand Robert Surtees, the art direction by Randall Duelland Cedric Gibbonsand the costume design by Helen Rose.
The film stars
Grace Kelly, Alec Guinnessand Louis Jourdanwith Agnes Moorehead, Jessie Royce Landis, Brian Aherne, Leo G. Carroll, Estelle Winwoodand Robert Coote.
The film deals with the story of the daughter of a minor branch of a European royal house who is being considered as a wife for her cousin, the heir to the throne.
Princess Alexandra (Grace Kelly) is the princess, her cousin the crown prince, Albert, is played by
Alec Guinness, and her brothers' tutor, a commoner for whom she thinks she may feel more affection than she does for the prince, is played by Louis Jourdan.
The princess's relatives — played by
Jessie Royce Landis, Estelle Winwood, and Brian Aherne— are comically eccentric, and Agnes Moorehead, as the queen who shows up near the end to find out if the princess has made the grade, is crankily imperious. Leo G. Carrollplays their butler. Van Dyke Parksalso appears in this movie.
Princess Alexandra is urged by her mother to accept Albert so that their family may regain a throne that was taken from them by Napoleon. Princess Alexandra tries to gain Albert's attention; he is otherwise taken with sleeping late, shooting duck and playing football with Alexandra's two younger brothers. Alexandra's mother urges her to show interest in the tutor, Mr. Agi, to make Albert jealous and stimulate a proposal from him.
Agi is already taken with Alexandra and when she invites him to the farewell ball for the crown prince he eagerly accepts. Later when they are dancing at the ball it appears that Albert is getting jealous but instead he is more interested in playing the bass in the orchestra.
Later, Agi tells Alexandra how he feels about her. She tells him that it was all a ploy to get Albert to propose to her and she suspected he felt this way. She realizes that she has some feelings for him but he refuses her. Albert comes to find out about this situation and is a little taken aback. Albert and Agi trade insults. Agi then storms out and tries to leave the next morning.
Alexandra, distraught over what happened, tries to leave with him, but he refuses her again. Albert's mother shows up and gets the entire story and is aghast. Albert gives his blessing to the pair and says that when he is king he will allow them back into the country. However, Agi ends up leaving the mansion without Alexandra.
Albert tries to console Alexandra by telling her she is like a swan: on the water she looks serene, but on land she is more like a goose. Albert then offers Alexandra his arm and they walk back into the mansion together.
Background and production notes
The play on which the film is based is "A Hattyú, Vígjáték Három Felvonásban" ("The Swan") by Ferenc Molnár (Budapest, 1914), and the play "The Swan" , translated and adapted by Melville C. Baker. The original Broadway production opened at the
Cort Theatre, New York, on 23 October 1923and ran for 255 performances. Leading the cast were Eva LeGallienne, Philip Merivale, Basil Rathboneand Alison Skipworth.
The role of Prince Albert was originally offered to
Rex Harrison, then to Joseph Cotten, before being given to Alec Guinness, whose first American film this was.
Grace Kelly had previously appeared in the
CBStelevision production of "The Swan" on 9 June 1950.
The film was shot on location in
North Carolina, at the 1895 Biltmore Estateof George W. Vanderbiltin Ashevilleand at Lake Junaluska.
MGM held the release of "The Swan" to correspond with the wedding day of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, on 18 April 1956.
* The 1925
silent filmwith the same title was directed by Dimitri Buchowetzkiand starred Frances Howard as Princess Alexandra and Adolphe Menjouas Crown Prince Albert.
One Romantic Night" (1930) starred Lillian Gishas Princess Alexandra and Rod La Rocqueas Prince Albert, with Conrad Nagelas the tutor. It was directed by Paul Stein (no relation to the accordionist). This version was adapted from "The Swan" by Maxwell Anderson, a noted playwright himself.
Original Broadway Production
The original Broadway production of "The Swan" opened on Broadway in 1923, with
Eva Le Gallienneas Princess Alexandra, Philip Merivaleas Prince Albert, and Basil Rathboneas the tutor.
*imdb title|id=0049815|title=The Swan
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