The Swan

Synopsis: Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace. Prince Albert has searched all over Europe for a bride and he's bored by the whole courtship routine. He is more interested in the estate's dairy than Alexandra's rose garden. And then he starts playing football with the tutor and Alexandra's brothers. Invite the tutor to the ball that night and watch how gracefully Alexandra dances with him.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Charles Vidor
Production: MGM
104 min

Open the door, please.

Breakfast, your highness,

and a telegram.

Are you quite sure

the doctor said

that gargle

should be swallowed afterwards?

That's what

you said,

your highness.

Did I? Sometimes

I think that doctor's

a little too progressive.

I can't believe it.

Elsa, my smelling salts.

No, no.

Dress me at once.

No, no,

never mind.

Send for Caesar.

I must speak to him immediately.

In here, your high--

yes, yes!

Have their highnesses


Oh, well,

it doesn't matter.

It makes no difference.

Oh, very well,

then, downstairs,

but hurry, hurry.


Your highness, good morning.

I want to see

everyone. We haven't

a moment too many.


Yes. The Butler,

the housekeeper,

the head gardener,

the head groom, the chef--

particularly the chef--

oh, and the huntsman

and the head gamekeeper,

but I won't wait

while you hunt for those.

Get on with your work.

Yes, Mr. Caesar.



Aunt Symphorosa.

Aunt Symphorosa.

Oh! Beatrix.

I was bicycling.

It's happened,

just when I'd

given up all hope.

What is it, dear?

Someone died?

It's a telegram.

"His royal highness

will honor you

"with a 4-day visit

beginning 23rd.

"No other guests.

"Train arrives 2:30 A.M.

no reception.

Will meet family next day."

He's coming to see Alexandra.

Not Albert.


It took him 2 years

to answer the invitation.

He must have looked

at every girl in Europe,

but he's coming.

I knew he was in Lisbon,

but I wasn't worried

about the infanta.

She's 6 foot 2.

And with the crown,

another 7 1/2 inches.

But I thought

he was going to Dresden.

He must have seen

a photograph

of Maria Teresa,

and that finished her.

Coming. I always

said dear Alexandra

would have

her opportunity

in the end.

Have it and take it.

Alexandra a queen.

Oh, if only

her father could

have lived for this.

It's so awkward

without a man

in the house.

A man can help in so many ways.

So many ways.

I shall wire Karl.

Have you

a pen somewhere

or a pencil?

It must go at once.

It will be nice

to see dear Karl,

but didn't it say no guests?

Karl? He's your nephew

and my brother.

How can he be a guest?

Oh! I'm inside out.

Oh! Must you still write

with a feather?

This is the 20th century.

I don't like the 20th century.

For the purpose

of the experiment,

the wall isn't there.

Now, if I take this one

and flip it--

good morning.

Good morning, mother.

Your highness.

Mother, aren't you

going to dress today?

I'm looking for a pencil,

and what exactly

did I find going on here?

Oh, I was just

teaching their highnesses

some elementary statics

and dynamics.

Those are statics and dynamics?

No, your highness.


a game the peasant

children play,

I believe.

Oh, the professor's

an absolute fizzer at it.

Show mother, professor.


Professor Agi,

I must ask you again

to confine yourself

to the normal kinds

of education,

and I want the boys

particularly well up

in their studies.

We're to be honored

within the next day or two

by a visit

from his royal highness

crown prince Albert.

Prince Albert!


I know.

He wants to look

at Alexandra.


Prince Albert is your cousin,

and he hasn't seen us

for many years.

He's coming here

purely and simply

to visit the family.

Now, get on with

your lessons so you

won't disgrace us,

and put on your coats.

The pencil, your highness.

Thank you.

Professor Agi,

did you write

that name up there?

Yes, your highness.

I don't want

that man's name

mentioned in my house.

Why not, mother?

Napoleon was a genius.

He beat almost


He won the battles of

Marengo and Austerlitz

and Borodino.

But not the battle of Waterloo.

He was an upstart.

Please remember

what I tell you.

You're here

to give the boys

an education,

not to fill

their heads with a lot

of historical gossip.

Your highnesses

had better pick up

the statics and dynamics.

Do you know why

mother hates Napoleon?

It was through him that

we lost our throne and had

to come and live here.

We won't

much longer, I'll bet.

Will we, professor?

We're going to practice

some vulgar fractions.

Get out your exercise books.

Couldn't we do it with marbles?

I'm afraid not.

Mother probably

wouldn't approve of

vulgar fractions either.

Not with

a queen in the family.

We haven't got one yet.

Well, cousin Albert's

a crown prince,

isn't he?

So Alexandra will be

a crown Princess.

So one day she'll be a queen.

As for the menu,

I want details

submitted for all meals

by tomorrow morning.

They must not only

taste delicious,

they have to match the services.

The gardens--I notice

the roses are already

beginning to bloom.

They're just

at their best,

your highness.

I don't want them at their best

till the day

after tomorrow.

Hold them back.

Caesar will let you

know the exact time.

Next, the carriages. I--


You sent for me, mother?

Yes, dear, I sent for you.


there's very little time.

Please get everything started.

Yes, your highness.

Alexandra, wonderful news--

Albert is coming

day after tomorrow.

A wire this morning.

There will hardly

be time to see

to everything.


Yes, mother.

Oh, I hope

so much that

you'll like him.

I'm sure I will.

I haven't seen him

since he was 10,

of course,

but they say

he's charming,

quite charming.

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Ferenc Molnár

Ferenc Molnár (born Ferenc Neumann, 12 January 1878 – 1 April 1952, anglicized as Franz Molnar) was a Hungarian-born author, stage-director, dramatist, and poet, widely regarded as Hungary’s most celebrated and controversial playwrights. His primary aim through his writing was to entertain by transforming his personal experiences into literary works of art. He was never connected to any one literary movement but he did utilize the precepts of Naturalism, Neo-Romanticism, Expressionism, and the Freudian psychoanalytical concepts, but only as long as they suited his desires. “By fusing the realistic narrative and stage tradition of Hungary with Western influences into a cosmopolitan amalgam, Molnár emerged as a versatile artist whose style was uniquely his own.” As a novelist, Molnár may best be remembered for The Paul Street Boys, the story of two rival gangs of youths in Budapest. It has been translated into fourteen languages and adapted for the stage and film. It has been considered a masterpiece by many. It was, however, as a playwright that he made his greatest contribution and how he is best known internationally. "In his graceful, whimsical, sophisticated drawing-room comedies, he provided a felicitous synthesis of Naturalism and fantasy, Realism and Romanticism, cynicism and sentimentality, the profane and the sublime." Out of his many plays, The Devil, Liliom, The Swan, The Guardsman and The Play's the Thing endure as classics. He was influenced by the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and Gerhart Hauptmann. He immigrated to the United States to escape persecution of Hungarian Jews during World War II and later adopted American citizenship. Molnár’s plays continue to be relevant and are performed all over the world. His national and international fame has inspired many Hungarian playwrights to include Elemér Boross, László Fodor, Lajos Biró, László Bús-Fekete, Ernö Vajda, Attila Orbók, and Imre Földes, among others. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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