The Gay Diplomat (1931)

66-67 mins | Romance | 22 August 1931

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Woman Pursued , Kisses by Command and A Strange Woman . HR and MPH reviewed the film as Woman Pursued . Writer Benn W. Levy, who did not receive a screen credit, was listed in the copyright records as the film's screenwriter. Other sources credit him with the film story, however. According to a FD news item, a re-creation of a first-class Russian railroad passenger compartment was built on the RKO lot from blueprints of a genuine Russian railway. FD news items add William Orlamond and Ralf Harolde to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO borrowed Genevieve Tobin from Universal for the production. According to modern sources, producer LeBaron assigned Pandro Berman, who was his assistant at the time, to replace supervisor Henry Hobart when Hobart walked off the set of the film during production. The Gay Diplomat was thus the first film on which Berman received a screen ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Woman Pursued , Kisses by Command and A Strange Woman . HR and MPH reviewed the film as Woman Pursued . Writer Benn W. Levy, who did not receive a screen credit, was listed in the copyright records as the film's screenwriter. Other sources credit him with the film story, however. According to a FD news item, a re-creation of a first-class Russian railroad passenger compartment was built on the RKO lot from blueprints of a genuine Russian railway. FD news items add William Orlamond and Ralf Harolde to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. RKO borrowed Genevieve Tobin from Universal for the production. According to modern sources, producer LeBaron assigned Pandro Berman, who was his assistant at the time, to replace supervisor Henry Hobart when Hobart walked off the set of the film during production. The Gay Diplomat was thus the first film on which Berman received a screen credit. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
7 Jun 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
12 Jun 31
p. 8.
Film Daily
21 Jun 31
p. 4.
Film Daily
25 Jun 31
p. 8.
Film Daily
23 Aug 31
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 31
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
1 Aug 31
p. 30.
New York Times
10 Oct 31
p. 20.
Variety
13 Oct 31
p. 15.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Strange Woman
Kisses by Command
Woman Pursued
Release Date:
22 August 1931
Production Date:
11475
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2463
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
66-67
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During World War I, Captain Ivan Orloff, a Russian combat hero and a notorious playboy, is sent to Bucharest to identify and apprehend a woman spy who has been undermining the Russians' diplomatic efforts in Rumania. On the train to Bucharest, Ivan, whose phony mission has been deliberately revealed to the enemy, is joined by beautiful Countess Diana Dorchy. After a long, flirtatious conversation with Diana, Ivan learns that she is traveling to Bucharest to attend a ball that is being given in his honor. At the ball, Ivan meets Colonel George Gorin, the head of the local Russian secret service, Gorin's fiancée, Baroness Alma Corri, and the talkative Madame Blinis. Ivan then formally introduces himself to Diana and is cornered by Alma and Madame Blinis, all of whom have been labeled as espionage suspects. After a Russian lieutenant is shot by an unidentified killer in the mansion garden, Ivan and Gamble, his valet, return to their rooms just as the killer is sneaking out of them. The next day, Ivan encounters Diana in a Bucharest park and, after determining that a piece of paper that she had been hiding from him on the train is a clothes shopping list, confesses his love. Later, while Ivan prepares for a dinner date with Diana, Alma sneaks into his bedroom and eavesdrops on his conversation with Gamble. Ivan, however, sees Alma reflected in the bedroom mirror and feeds her false information on the whereabouts of a phony diplomatic letter. Alma, convinced that the letter is in a pocket of one of Ivan's suits, connives to search his bedroom, thus satisfying Ivan that she is ... +


During World War I, Captain Ivan Orloff, a Russian combat hero and a notorious playboy, is sent to Bucharest to identify and apprehend a woman spy who has been undermining the Russians' diplomatic efforts in Rumania. On the train to Bucharest, Ivan, whose phony mission has been deliberately revealed to the enemy, is joined by beautiful Countess Diana Dorchy. After a long, flirtatious conversation with Diana, Ivan learns that she is traveling to Bucharest to attend a ball that is being given in his honor. At the ball, Ivan meets Colonel George Gorin, the head of the local Russian secret service, Gorin's fiancée, Baroness Alma Corri, and the talkative Madame Blinis. Ivan then formally introduces himself to Diana and is cornered by Alma and Madame Blinis, all of whom have been labeled as espionage suspects. After a Russian lieutenant is shot by an unidentified killer in the mansion garden, Ivan and Gamble, his valet, return to their rooms just as the killer is sneaking out of them. The next day, Ivan encounters Diana in a Bucharest park and, after determining that a piece of paper that she had been hiding from him on the train is a clothes shopping list, confesses his love. Later, while Ivan prepares for a dinner date with Diana, Alma sneaks into his bedroom and eavesdrops on his conversation with Gamble. Ivan, however, sees Alma reflected in the bedroom mirror and feeds her false information on the whereabouts of a phony diplomatic letter. Alma, convinced that the letter is in a pocket of one of Ivan's suits, connives to search his bedroom, thus satisfying Ivan that she is indeed the spy. While Alma and Ivan, who feigns ignorance of Alma's activities, are flirting in the bedroom, Diana arrives for dinner. Hurt and jealous, Diana tells Ivan that she is leaving Bucharest the next day. Alma, sensing Ivan's love for Diana, instructs Natalie, a cohort who is posing as Diana's maid, to eavesdrop on any conversation between Ivan and the countess. As expected, Ivan rushes to Diana's apartment and, after alluding to his mission, begs her not to leave Bucharest. Although Gamble is shot fatally by the killer in Ivan's rooms, he is able to alert Ivan by telephone before he dies. Natalie then reports to Alma, who tells Gorin of Diana's interest in Ivan's mission and Ivan's love for Diana. To vindicate Diana as well as himself, Ivan tricks Alma into exposing herself as the spy to Gorin. At that moment, however, Natalie and the killer burst into the room and hold Ivan and Gorin at gunpoint. After he is saved by the arrival of the French ambassador and his men, Ivan escorts Alma back to St. Petersburg and is joined on the train by a loving Diana. +

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.