Café Metropole (1937)

83-84 mins | Romantic comedy | 7 May 1937

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HISTORY

According to HR , this film was announced in Nov 1935 as Loretta Young's first film after her return to the studio, but she appeared in a number of other Twentieth Century-Fox films before this went into production. Jean Hersholt was listed in news items for a leading role, and his name appears in the HR production charts, but he was not in the final film. Although an MPH review of a preview screening in Feb 1937 lists Bill Robinson in the credits and Robinson is listed in HR production charts, his name is crossed off the trade advertising billing sheet, which listed him on the title card after Charles Winninger. Robinson appeared in two sequences as himself, doing a solo tap dance and a parody tap version of the French Apache dance in which Robinson and his female dance partner are dressed as denizens of Harlem, NY. These sequences were cut before release; however, they appear as DVD extras on the Café Metropole disk in the Tyrone Power Matinee Idol DVD collection released in 2008. ... More Less

According to HR , this film was announced in Nov 1935 as Loretta Young's first film after her return to the studio, but she appeared in a number of other Twentieth Century-Fox films before this went into production. Jean Hersholt was listed in news items for a leading role, and his name appears in the HR production charts, but he was not in the final film. Although an MPH review of a preview screening in Feb 1937 lists Bill Robinson in the credits and Robinson is listed in HR production charts, his name is crossed off the trade advertising billing sheet, which listed him on the title card after Charles Winninger. Robinson appeared in two sequences as himself, doing a solo tap dance and a parody tap version of the French Apache dance in which Robinson and his female dance partner are dressed as denizens of Harlem, NY. These sequences were cut before release; however, they appear as DVD extras on the Café Metropole disk in the Tyrone Power Matinee Idol DVD collection released in 2008. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 May 1937.
---
Daily Variety
28 Apr 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
29 Apr 37
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 37
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 37
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
8 Aug 1936.
---
Motion Picture Herald
27 Feb 37
p. 31.
Motion Picture Herald
8 May 37
p. 46.
New York Times
29 Apr 37
p. 17.
Variety
5 May 37
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 May 1937
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 28 April 1937
Production Date:
late January--26 February 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 May 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7286
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
gauge
35mm
Widescreen/ratio
1.37:1
Duration(in mins):
83-84
Length(in feet):
7,496
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
3121
SYNOPSIS

When Alexander Brown, an intoxicated and apparently wealthy American, demands an order of roast eagle at the Café Metropole in Paris, the owner, Victor Lobard, pacifies him by saying that the eagle needs to be hung for twenty-four hours before cooking and thus will be ready the next evening. At a gambling house that night, after Victor has won back half of the 960,000 francs which he earlier embezzled from the café and then lost, Alexander loses a bet for the remainder and writes a phony check before he reveals that he cannot pay. Victor threatens to call the police unless Alexander agrees to impersonate the Russian prince Alexis Paneiev and make love to Laura Ridgeway, the visiting daughter of one of his wealthy customers, so that Victor can get money from Laura's father. Alexander reluctantly complies and as Alexis, occasionally forgets his Russian accent while he romances Laura. When the real Paneiev, now a waiter at the café, angrily denounces Alexander to Victor, who in Russia used to wait on the proud Paneiev, Victor bribes him for his silence. Alexander and Laura fall in love to the dismay of her suspicious father, but when Laura proposes and Alexander leaves after refusing to go along with Victor's scheme to bilk the Ridgeways, Victor tells Ridgeway that he discovered "Alexander's" scheme and paid him one million francs to go away. Ridgeway repays Victor and calls the police to arrest Alexander. Laura, who suspected all along that Alexander was putting on an act because he was in some kind of trouble, finds him at the police station and sends a wire to have her father, who has left ... +


When Alexander Brown, an intoxicated and apparently wealthy American, demands an order of roast eagle at the Café Metropole in Paris, the owner, Victor Lobard, pacifies him by saying that the eagle needs to be hung for twenty-four hours before cooking and thus will be ready the next evening. At a gambling house that night, after Victor has won back half of the 960,000 francs which he earlier embezzled from the café and then lost, Alexander loses a bet for the remainder and writes a phony check before he reveals that he cannot pay. Victor threatens to call the police unless Alexander agrees to impersonate the Russian prince Alexis Paneiev and make love to Laura Ridgeway, the visiting daughter of one of his wealthy customers, so that Victor can get money from Laura's father. Alexander reluctantly complies and as Alexis, occasionally forgets his Russian accent while he romances Laura. When the real Paneiev, now a waiter at the café, angrily denounces Alexander to Victor, who in Russia used to wait on the proud Paneiev, Victor bribes him for his silence. Alexander and Laura fall in love to the dismay of her suspicious father, but when Laura proposes and Alexander leaves after refusing to go along with Victor's scheme to bilk the Ridgeways, Victor tells Ridgeway that he discovered "Alexander's" scheme and paid him one million francs to go away. Ridgeway repays Victor and calls the police to arrest Alexander. Laura, who suspected all along that Alexander was putting on an act because he was in some kind of trouble, finds him at the police station and sends a wire to have her father, who has left Paris with his wife Maggie on a boat train, arrested for impersonating the real Ridgeway. After Maggie, who likes Alexander, goes along with Laura's ploy and convinces the police that her husband is really "Smarty Pants" Dugan, a confidence man, she and her husband are arrested, but back in Paris all the identities are straightened out. At the café, when Ridgeway orders Victor to give the million franc check to Laura and Alexander for a wedding present, Victor returns Alexander's phony check and to pacify Ridgeway, gives him wild strawberries, just arrived from Algeria, which Ridgeway has desired since his arrival in Paris. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.