COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO, THE (1934)
Famed cinematographer Karl Freund proves a dab hand directing this Lubitsch-light romantic comedy fantasia starring Fay Wray and Patsy Kelly as bit-part-playing gal pals on the fringes of Vienna's filmmaking world. Jilted by her fiancé and in a funk, Wray blows take after take for her increasingly furious director, before a sudden whim compels her to just drive off the set in the production's luxury automobile, costumed as a wealthy aristocrat. Adopting the title of the "Countess of Monte Cristo" with Kelly as her maid, the two manage to book a suite in a luxury hotel for one final spree before turning themselves in. It's here that Wray meets cat burglar and con man Reginald Owen, nicknamed "The Baron" ("I'm not diabolical. I'm debonair."), who believes he's found a fellow crook; and courtly Paul Lukas, who believes he's found a new love. DIR Karl Freund; SCR Karen DeWolf, from a story by Walter Reisch; PROD Stanley Bergerman. U.S., 1934, b&w, 78 min. NOT RATED
AFI Member passes accepted.