Cluny Brown

Synopsis: Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate. While there, she becomes friendly with Adam Belinski, a charming Czech refugee. She also becomes interested in a dull shopkeeper named Mr. Wilson. Belinski soon falls in love with Cluny and tries to keep her from marrying Wilson.
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Ernst Lubitsch
Production: 20th Century Fox
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

Ye... No, no, no, my dear chap. Sink.

Sink. S-l-N-K. Sink.

No, no, no, not stink.

Yes, well, now that you mention it, it does.


Look here, what I'm trying to tell you is

it won't drain.

Yes, that's it, and I've got 50 people

popping over for cocktails.

Huh, have you ever tried to get hold of

a plumber in London on a Sunday afternoon?

I've called dozens of them and the blighters

are either at the films or walking in the park.

Hang it all! If plumbing's going to

make a go of it in this country,

the plumbers jolly well better get into

the spirit of the thing!

Well, there's just the ghost of a chance.

One chap half promised to be over, but that's

more than an hour ago, so there you are.

But look here, I can't just call up 50 guests.

I can't call up such people as

the Honourable Betty Cream

and tell her my sink's out of order.


Just a moment. Congratulate me, old man.

Here's the plumber now.

So long.

Come in, come in. Oh, excuse me.


Hello? Yes.

Yes. He just came this moment. Goodbye.

Never been so happy to see anybody

in my life. Right this way.

Rotten of me to spoil your Sunday,

but it's sink or swim, you know.

Wait till you see the mess.

"Relieve the drain, relieve the strain."

Bit of a poet, eh?


Well, there it is. Frightful stench, isn't it?

Just too awful for words.

- Yes, but it looks interesting. Very.

- What?

Is there anything more arresting

than a sink out of order?

I beg your pardon?

An everyday, ordinary,

commonplace pantry sink.

And yet, an analogue of human frustration.

Believe me, I know a lot about sinks.

Yes, naturally, I'm sure you do,

but we haven't much time.

You see, I'm giving a party.

- You're expecting your guests any minute?

- Right.

- And you want your sink fixed?

- Right.

- Then what you need is a plumber.

- Right... But I thought that you...

Oh, no, no. Unfortunately, I'm afraid

there has been a misunderstanding.

You see, I came here to see

an old friend of mine, Professor Leigh.

Profe... Professor Leigh? He's in Scotland.

You see, I sublet the flat.

- Now I am in a fix.

- Well, what about me? I'm in a fix, too.

- But what am I going to do? It's 4:30.

- You see, I wanted to see Professor Leigh...

Expecting 50 guests, including such people

as the Honourable Betty Cream

and she doesn't go everywhere, you know.

- You're the most selfish man I've ever seen.

- What?

You don't even know me

and already you're not interested in me.

Why don't you ask me

why I want to see Professor Leigh?

All you're thinking about is

the Honourable Betty Cream.

Why don't you ask me about my landlady?

Is she humane or does she want the rent?

Do you know or do you care? No.

Have you even said,

"A fig for Betty Cream, my dear sir.

- "Is there anything I can do for you?"

- Well, is there?

Oh, thank heaven.

- I misjudged you. My name is Adam Belinski.

- Hilary Ames.

Ah, I'm tired, my dear Ames.

It's too bad Leigh isn't here.

By the way, do you know him?

- Not very well, no.

- Magnificent fellow.

He would have said,

"Is there anything wrong, Belinski?"

And of course, I would have said,

"No, no, nothing."

But he would not have believed me.

He would have insisted on my taking a nap.

Insisted, I assure you.

Ah, he had the most charming way

of forcing 20 pounds on one.

Made you feel you were doing him a favour.

Remarkable fellow.

Obviously. Well, I'm not precisely in the habit

of forcing things on people,

- but if I can be of any service...

- My dear Ames, this is kind of you.

Not at all. Do have a nap.

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Samuel Hoffenstein

Samuel "Sam" Hoffenstein (October 8, 1890 - October 6, 1947) was a screenwriter and a musical composer. Born in Russia, he emigrated to the United States and began a career in New York City as a newspaper writer and in the entertainment business. In 1931 he moved to Los Angeles, where he lived for the rest of his life and where he wrote the scripts for over thirty movies. These movies included Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Miracle Man (1932), Phantom of the Opera (1943), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Tales of Manhattan (1942), Flesh and Fantasy (1943), Laura (1944), and Ernst Lubitsch's Cluny Brown (1946). In addition, Hoffenstein, along with Cole Porter and Kenneth Webb, helped compose the musical score for Gay Divorce (1933), the stage musical that became the film The Gay Divorcee (1934). He died in Los Angeles, California. A book of his verse, Pencil in the Air, was published three days after his death to critical acclaim. Another book of his work was published in 1928, titled Poems in Praise of Practically Nothing. The book contained some of his work that had been formerly published in the New York World, the New York Tribune, Vanity Fair, the D. A. C. News, and Snappy Stories. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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