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Reviews of "Das Schöne Abenteuer (1932)"
aka The Beautiful Adventure (1932)
aka La Belle Adventure (1932)
Plot summary (from Illustrierter Film-Kurier Nr. 469)
Translated from the German original with much help from Christoph Michel.
It's a big day for the Countess d'Eguzon. The fulfilment of her greatest wish is within her grasp, for today the wedding of her charming niece Hélène de Trévillac and paunchy Valentin de Barroyer is to take place. The bride's wedding dress is ready, and the first guest are arriving. The countess' triumph is almost complete. Within the hour, Hélène will be Valentin's wife and leave the house that was her home ever since she was taken in as an orphan, the house where she was tolerated until the countess' son André fell in love with Hélène. That was when the countess took fate in her own hands, sending André to Vienna as a diplomat so he could see the world. He wrote to his secret bride every day, but the letters were intercepted by the countess, and Hélène in her disappointment couldn't help but think that André had forgotten all about her. This was the mood she was in when her aunt introduced wealthy Valentin as a suitor. In her exhaustion and despair, with no sign of life from André, Hélène didn't say no. She was told that André wouldn't even come to the wedding because of his duties in Vienna. Now the wedding march can be heard, and Valentin is getting fidgety with excitement. It's all too much for the corpulent, good-natured, pedantic fellow: The wedding, to be followed by the trip out into the country to Hélène's grandmother, the ancient Madame de Trévillac, all that baggage, change trains in Limoges, all this he has to think of and he forgets the young disappointed woman standing in front of him. - A car comes rushing into the courtyard, a young man (in travelling clothes) bounds up the steps and sees the preparations for the wedding. The door to Hélène's room bursts open. André confronts the trembling bride, demanding that she account for herself. Why didn't she reply to any of his letters, why had she lacked the courage to confess her infidelity? - Letters? She never received any letters, Hélène says. The two understand quickly what has been done to them. But there is still time. Coming to get the bride, Valentin finds only her veil. In the ensuing commotion, a car with two happy passengers leaves the Palais courtyard in a hurry. Old Madame de Trévillac is awaiting the young couple with a grandmother's impatience. Upon their arrival, the handsome, lively young husband finds favour under her critical gaze. She hardly notices that they have arrived without baggage, takes the newlyweds to the bridal chamber and leaves them alone. Kindly old [chambermaid] Jeantine, however, is determined to influence events. She knows that three twigs of Rosemary laid on the doorstep of the bridal chamber ensure that it's going to be a boy if the young wife steps on the twigs in the morning! Grandma decides that there's no harm in trying. Tiptoeing into the anteroom of the bridal chamber, she finds the young husband there sleeping in an armchair. Not taking no for an answer, she orders the supposed husband in to join Hélène. The next morning, Valentin arrives in a sweat and out of breath to inform old Madame de Trévillac about Hélène's elopement. André appears and has to admit that he is not yet married to Hélène. The old lady is outraged. At this juncture, the door swings open and Hélène steps out of her room, treading on the Rosemary twigs. This is too much for Grandma. Seeing that she has only herself to blame since she forced André into Hélène's room, she forgives the young couple and protects them when the countess d'Eguzon arrives. Valentin too is calmed down and André promises to have the marriage performed shortly. And the twigs of Rosemary - either there was one twig too many or Hélène stepped on them twice - lead to twins.
Truly a beautiful adventure.
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