A Countess from Hong Kong

Synopsis: In Hong Kong, the wealthy Ogden Mears is traveling in a transatlantic and is near to be assigned Saudi Arabia Ambassador and is divorcing from his wife Martha. His friend Harvey and he are invited by their old friend Clark to go to a nightclub with three aristocratic Russian refugees on their last night. Ogden drinks too much and spends the night with Countess Natascha. On the next morning, while sailing back home, Ogdeb finds Natascha hidden in his cabin wearing a ball gown and with no documents. The stowaway explains that she wants to go to the United States and Ogden is worried with his career. But Harvey convinces him to help Natascha. Ogden falls in love with Natascha and together with Harvey, they plot a fake marriage of Natascha with his valet Hudson. But things get complicated when immigration requests her documents and Martha arrives on board.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Charles Chaplin
Production: Universal Pictures
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

- What's the charge, sister?

- Half a dollar a dance.

- You mean them women are countesses?

- Some are.

Thank you, sir.

- I got a ticket to dance with a countess.

- Go to it, buddy.

Want to tell the folks back home

I'm movin' in high society.

- Oh, pardon me. Can I sit down?

- Please.

I've got a ticket to dance.

You a countess?

No kiddin'!

Tell me, how many countesses

are there around here?

Oh, quite a few.

Every statesman, every minister

and diplomat should dedicate himself...

to the cause of world peace.

Ogden, it's Harvey!

Ogden, are you still at that speech?

Here we are, China, Hong Kong,

and you're still trying to save the world.

Let's get out of here. See the town.

We're only staying 24 hours.

Okay, sir.

Can ya believe it? Hong Kong.

By golly, I can see a Chinaman.

I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Look at them.

Packed together like sardines.

That's what I dislike about

the poor. They have no taste.

They indulge in squalor. They pick

the worst neighbourhoods to live in...

eat the worst kind of food

and dress atrociously.

That wasn't a smile.

That was a gas pain.

How do you feel, buddy?

- Depressed.

- You should be the happiest man

in the world.

Six weeks you'll be divorced,

and possibly the next Secretary of State.

- We'll wait and see.

- Here's the day's paper.

"Ogden Mears, multimillionaire,

son of the richest oilman in the world...

will be the new

Secretary of State."

Let me see that.

"Son of the richest oilman in the world."

They won't let you forget it.

That's the burden you must carry.

Harvey, you're a corrupting influence.

Maybe, but I didn't lead you

into politics.

- What else is there to do?

- Murder, arson, rape.

There's plenty of worthy occupations.

- Crawford, sir.

- Come in, Crawford.

Just came over the wire.

The President has appointed

Mr Patrick Dowling...

- Secretary of State.

- Dowling, huh?

Well, that's show business.

- Who the devil is Patrick Dowling?

- Secretary of State.

- I'll check for more news.

- Thank you, Crawford.

Harvey, I guess you're right. I think

I'll give up trying to save the world.

Tonight we're gonna celebrate

Patrick Dowling's appointment.

Excuse me, sir.

Mr Clark has telephoned.

Mr Clark? Where is he?

Up in the lounge.

He says he's on his way down.

- Show him here.

- Yes, sir.

- Who's Clark?

- He's one of Father's senior directors.

A venerable old gentleman.

We don't want to get stuck with that

old boy for the rest of the evening.

No, I'll get rid of him.

Remember you just got over the flu.

Took a long sea voyage

to get away from it all.

- We don't want to be

visiting parks and museums.

- Mr Clark, sir.

Ogden, my dear boy,

I haven't seen you since

you were in swaddling clothes.

I must say you're

the replica of your father.

Uh, Mr Clark, may I present

my friend Harvey Crothers?

How do you do?

I beg your pardon.

Well, sir.

Hudson tells me you're under the weather

and here I am ready to show you the town.

I think perhaps I better stay

inside and just take things easy.

Of course, my dear boy.

I'll not disturb you.

But before I go, I'd like to introduce

some very dear friends of mine.

They're waiting in the lounge.

Well, certainly. Hudson, would you show

Mr Clark's friends in?

- They're alone in the lounge.

You can't miss them.

- Yes, sir.

Well, Ogden, too bad you're not

up to scratch. I was looking

forward to showing you around.

Yes, well, I'm disappointed.

I was reading about it

and it sounds fascinating.

- The botanical gardens and museums...

- Oh, dear me, dear me.

Botanical gardens? Ha, ha, ha!

I think we can do better than that.

I guess I've been

reading the wrong book.

Ogden, these are my friends.

This is Mr Ogden Mears...

Mr Harvey Crothers.

Countess Chiedoff...

Countess Natascha Alexandrov...

Baroness Cavanotchy.

Hello, I'd like a drink.

No, no, Baroness.

It's too early.

Excuse me.

What will you have, ladies?

- Champagne.

- Champagne, champagne.

No, no, don't turn it off.

Music complements

the champagne.

Too bad you're just

getting over the flu, Ogden.

I thought we might go on somewhere

this evening and take the ladies along.

But then the night air

might be dangerous for you.

Oh, I think if I wrap up well

it'll be all right.

Where are the girls?

I don't know. I think they went to the

ladies room as soon as you left.

I must have inspired them

with the same idea.

Let me tell you about

these ladies. Harvey.

They are the daughters

of Russian aristocrats.

Their titles are absolutely genuine.

Their parents escaped to Shanghai

during the Russian Revolution.

Shanghai was a nasty place

in those days.

An international settlement

run by seven nations.

Because they had no country,

their life was worthless.

They could be robbed, murdered.

Nobody bothered.

Countess Natascha,

the one sitting next to you...

has had rather a sad life.

She was the mistress

of a gangster at the age of 14.

How did the others

manage to live?

Many starved,

others committed suicide.

Some of the women

worked in dance halls.

The men had to compete

with the cheapest labour because

they couldn't leave the country.

I think Harvey

is very good-looking.

A lot of good that'll do you.

He's penniless.

So what? Haven't you

any romance in your soul?

Money makes me romantic.

I thought Harvey

was the one with the dough.

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Charles Chaplin

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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