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Café Metropole (1937) Online

Café Metropole (1937) Online
Original Title :
Café Metropole
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Edward H. Griffith
Cast :
Loretta Young,Tyrone Power,Adolphe Menjou
Writer :
Jacques Deval,Gregory Ratoff
Type :
Time :
1h 23min
Rating :
Café Metropole (1937) Online

Victor Lobard, the smooth and nimble owner of the Café Metropole in Paris, has only ten days to replace a small fortune he embezzled from the business; he and a clerk face prison if he fails. He thinks he's won the money at a casino then learns he's in possession of a rubber check written by Alexander Brown, a well-mannered but penniless Yank. Lobard cooks up a scheme: to have Brown pretend to be a Russian prince, woo a visiting American, and get her rich father to give Brown the money Lobard needs. Several problems: Brown's not a very good impostor, a real Russian prince presents himself, and the two young people fall in love. Does prison await or do wild strawberries?
Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young Loretta Young - Laura Ridgeway
Tyrone Power Tyrone Power - Alexander Brown aka Alexis
Adolphe Menjou Adolphe Menjou - Monsieur Victor
Gregory Ratoff Gregory Ratoff - Paul / Real Prince Alexis Paneiev
Charles Winninger Charles Winninger - Joseph Ridgeway
Helen Westley Helen Westley - Margaret Ridgeway
Christian Rub Christian Rub - Maxl Schinner
Ferdinand Gottschalk Ferdinand Gottschalk - Monsieur Leon Monnet
Georges Renavent Georges Renavent - Captain
Leonid Kinskey Leonid Kinskey - Artist
Hal K. Dawson Hal K. Dawson - Arthur Cleveland Thorndyke
Paul Porcasi Paul Porcasi - Police Official
André Cheron André Cheron - Croupier (as Andre Cheron)
George Beranger George Beranger - Hat Clerk (as Andre Beranger)

Two scenes featuring Bill Robinson (aka "Bojangles Robinson") were cut from the final version of the film: a solo tap dance performance in black tie by the dancing legend and a duet in beachcomber outfits with Geneva Sawyer. Both scenes are included in a DVD released by Fox as part of "Tyrone Power, Matinee Idol."

Among the photos in Monsieur Victor Lobard's office are Warner Baxter, Shirley Temple, Will Rogers, Alice Faye, Rochelle Hudson, Thomas Beck, all Fox players, plus Gloria Swanson, Jack Dempsey, and Charles Chaplin.

Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items listed Jean Hersholt in the cast, but he did not appear in the movie.

User reviews



A broke American is forced to pose as a Russian prince in order to pay a gambling debt in "Cafe Metropole," a film written by the multi-talented Gregory Ratoff, who also plays a role in the movie. This is a funny, light, romantic comedy where the best scenes are saved for the character actors Charles Winninger and Helen Westley, who have great banter. Menjou is a duplicitous restaurateur who blackmails Tyrone Power into going along with his scheme; Loretta Young, romanced by Power, is the beautiful daughter of Charles Winninger.

If you're a shallow person, this is the movie for you because it's Eye Candy City. Power and Young, two people very, very high on any "most beautiful" list, are so ethereally, incalculably gorgeous that it's hard to listen to a word they're saying while they're on screen. And Young's fashions are divine '30s couturier. This is one of Power's very early films; he was only 22 when it was made, and though only a year older than he was, Young had been around since silent film days. For me, Power's looks reached their full dazzle about two to three years later but if you only saw him in Cafe Metropole, you'd have a hard time believing there could be any improvement in that face. And in a tuxedo for so much of the movie. Almost too much of a good thing.

Anyway, if you can concentrate, Cafe Metropole is a delightful film.

As a bit of trivia, Power and Young made several films together in Power's early days at Fox. They remained friends, and in 1958, Young showed up for Power's funeral straight from filming her TV show, decked out and unrecognizable in Oriental garb and makeup to match. In the late '70s, she was photographed with Power's son, Ty, Jr., and you would swear you'd gone back in time. His resemblance to his father was so striking, and she was still so very beautiful.


Gregory Ratoff's idea of a Parisian restauranteur with debts that drive his bookkeeper to thoughts of suicide became a vehicle for rising star Tyrone Power. He's handed what can be coyly referred to as an ingenue role (the kind that does not demand much more than standing straight and looking pretty), more specifically, an American dilettante with scarcely any money to live on and no way to get home. Owing a rather tidy sum to the restaurant owner (played by wily Adolphe Menjou), he is blackmailed into passing himself off as Russian royalty to charm a Yankee heiress. And in walks the breathtaking Loretta Young under a white lace mantilla, aware from the start that he's a fake, and working her own little scheme to land him. Young is as assured as Katharine Hepburn was in "Holiday," although you get the feeling, when she's throwing fits and tossing heavy objects at her millionaire father (Charles Winninger), the people in charge wanted to invest her performance with a little of the spirit of Carole Lombard. It's all over Tyrone Power, and considering how dapper he looks in his tie and tails (His hair has the high-gloss, Art-Deco sheen of a baby grand piano.), who could blame her? There's a funny sequence in a haberdashery with his accent waxing and waning like the phases of the moon. It's blithe, and loony, and lovely all at once, and ends with Ratoff (as the real Cossack) spouting indignantly at Power's pitiful imposture. Duplicity abounds, and everyone is wise to it including Helen Westley as Winninger's canny sister whom the mock Russian aristocrat at one point coyly slips a bodice boutonniere.


It must be 35 years or so since I saw this film in an "Art House" Theatre. But it still has left one, strong, lingering impression.

There is one scene on the dance floor that took my breath away. Power is wearing a tailcoat and white tie. Young is in a satin floor length gown that clung to even inch of her elegant form. They were dancing like a young god and goddess.

I remember thinking, "At that moment in time, they had to be the two most beautiful people on the face of the earth." I recall nothing else about the film save this moment. But it's quite sufficient.

Sometimes, all it takes is just one scene to leave an impression that makes the memory of a film vivid for decades. In an era when class and style are neither appreciated, celebrated or understood, a film like this is a reminder of these words mean -- or at least meant.


Cafe Metropole finds Adolphe Menjou owner of said title in some trouble. He's got to replace some money he took from the business or go to prison and he's got ten days before his crime is discovered. He thinks he's won it back from a certain American playboy, but when the check is admittedly false, Menjou has a problem.

Adolphe's a clever dude though, he uses the inebriated playboy who is Tyrone Power and tells him to woo and win it from an American girl, Loretta Young traveling in Paris with her parents Charles Winninger and Helen Westley. Be an exiled Russian nobleman, there are so many of them running around Paris these days.

As a romantic Ty can't be beat, but he's certainly one unconvincing Russian going in and out of his accent in the same sentence. But he and Young do hit it off. And why wouldn't Young fall for him, it's Tyrone Power.

Cafe Metropole is an amusing comedy of sorts with a Parisian setting recreated on 20th Century Fox's back lot. Just the kind of entertainment the movie-going public wanted, escapist stuff about Americans enjoying the good life with absolutely no hint of a rumor of a Depression out there. This also showed Ty Power's versatility in handling modern comedy as well as period drama. It holds up well today as people are still embezzling and trying all kinds of madcap schemes to cover and recover.


Having embezzled money from the night club he manages, Adolph Menjou must now replace the money before the auditors arrive or face prison. He sees the opportunity with handsome Tyrone Power, a broke American whom he makes pose as a Russian prince in order to bilk American millionaires Charles Winninger, Loretta Young, and Helen Westley. However, the real Russian prince he has Power impersonating is there, under the guise of one of his own waiters (Gregory Ratoff). Related to the czars of Russia 25 times (5 times illegitimately), Ratoff is indignant over the use of Power with his identity. When asked by Winninger if Ratoff is a real Russian, Menjou says he is. Winninger's feisty sister, Westley, retorts, "Then how come he isn't driving a cab?" That's the type of humor to expect from this very enjoyable non-sensical screwball comedy the year of "The Awful Truth", "Topper" and "Nothing Sacred" (all-time classics), as well as duds like "True Confession" and "Double Wedding". "Cafe Metropole" falls closer to the classic mark. Looking at Tyrone Power and Loretta Young (here before she became Attila the Nun), it's impossible not to see why they were a popular screen couple. William Powell and Myrna Loy were sophisticated and witty, but Power and Young are downright beautiful to look at together. You can't help but wonder what their children would look like. Young is great when she's sinning a little; A few years down the road, she'd be a lot more difficult to watch. Power always remained easy on the eye, even if by the mid 40's he looked like a man-boy that resented his own prettiness and yet unable to face the on-coming middle age.

There's also some rather humorous gay moments, particularly with an obviously gay hat seller who sells Power his own hat, and is then told by Power to throw the other one out. Adolph Menjou makes a wonderful scoundrel. You want to see him get his come-uppance, even if it's just the leads conning him on his own con. Winninger and Westley, as usual, are great scene-stealers. Westley gets the last word, and is so amusing. What would we do without those salty character people like Jessie Ralph, May Robson, Marie Dressler, Alison Skipworth and Ms. Westley? They are like the grandmothers we'd love to have---filled with both love and discipline, yet bubbling with an earthiness that makes us want to see them a bit under the influence to reveal what they are really like. Predictable, but lots of fun!


A very pleasant, old-fashioned comedy of manners. A delightful group of players make the most of a screenplay that is filled to the brim with chucklesome dialogue. Director Edward H. Griffith has wisely chosen to play the whole thing straight without undue emphases or heavily weighted advance signals. You have to keep right on your toes to digest such gems as Loretta Young's casual remark that Tyrone's hat makes him look like "an eccentric pall-bearer" (and watch for the shop assistant's astute manipulation of the said hat under cover of the ensuing conversation). I loved Charles Winninger's flat aside on European nobility: "If they're charming, they're fake. If they're genuine, they're dumb!" (A dictum which he later expatiates at greater length: "He was the dumbest, stupidest dope I ever had the misfortune to shake hands with!")

In a roll of velvet like this, much depends on the skills of director and cast. With Café Metropole they cut the cloth perfectly, abetted by stylish, class "A" production values including Lucien Andriot's fine camera-work, glossily attractive sets and a caressingly tuneful music score.


Tyrone Power shows his considerable comic flare in his role as a young American in Paris who is blackmailed into posing as a Russian prince to court a wealthy heiress (Loretta Young). The script is extremely witty with fast-paced, sharp dialogue that keeps the viewer in stitches from start to finish. Highly recommended! Unfortunately, this movie is not available on video, but it is played on the Fox Movie Channel from time to time.


The plot of this light romantic comedy is quite absurd. Yet, if you are willing to suspend disbelief at times, it can be rather fun, especially with pretty boy Tyrone Power and gorgeous Loretta Young as the developing lovers.

Victor(Adolphe Menjou), the manager of the Parisian Café Metropole, has a big problem, despite Adolphe being perfect for this role. His friend Maxi had loaned him 900,000 francs, but Adolphe hasn't a franc left, and Maxi is demanding full repayment soon. Adolphe hatches a crafty plan. He will convert the handsome American playboy, Alexander Brown, into an imposter rich Russian nobleman: Alexis Paneiev. The combination of his looks and personality, along with pseudowealth and title will hopefully be too much for single future heiress Loretta(Laura Ridgeway) to resist(Yet another single heiress, so popular in 1930s films). She immediately falls for Ty and he for her. But she doesn't fall for his imposter act. When they first met, he had no foreign accent to his American English. But, later he did, when he met her father(Charles Winninger)and mother (Helen Westley). Loretta comments on this inconsistency, and Ty admits that his accent waxes and wanes, like love. Although she pretends otherwise, from this moment, she assumes he is an American trying to impress her as a European nobleman. She doesn't disclose her suspicion until near the end of the film. Nonetheless, her father relates his experience with noblemen. "If they're charming, they're fake. If genuine, they're stupid". In either case, they're probably wrong for Loretta.

Adolphe has a hold over Ty, who gave him a worthless check to pay his gambling debt. Adolphe threatens to go to the police if Ty doesn't cooperate in his scheme to weasel 1 million francs from Loretta's father. Complications arise when the real Alexis Paneiev surfaces as one of Adolphe's waiters, using a pseudonym. Adolphe offers him 50,000 francs to keep quite about the situation. Also, artist Kinskey relates that all Russians he has known smell bad, but not Ty.

Loretta wants Ty to ask her to marry him. But, he says he loves her too much to marry her, presumably because then his sham would be exposed. Later, she calls him up and asks him to marry her. At first reluctant, eventually he agrees....Now, Adolphe's lawyer, Monnet, draws up a contract, in which Loretta's father pays 500,000 francs before the wedding and another 500,000 francs after the wedding, plus so much for each subsequent child(Why should he do this?). Ty walks out in disgust. But, soon after, Adolphe maneuvers Loretta's father into handing him a check for 1,000,000.francs(I don't understand why he should agree?). Father then demands that Ty be put in jail for fraud, so that he can't marry Loretta. Father then demands that Loretta leave with her parents for the US. She refuses and has a tantrum, screaming and throwing things, then crying. Rather reminds me of Carol Lombard, in "My Man Godfrey"

Under father's insistence, the real Alexis is mistakenly jailed instead of Ty(How could this happen? He has a genuine passport.) But Ty isn't off the hook yet. He is also charged with being an imposter, but wiggles out of it. Strangely, Loretta's father is then charged as an imposter, despite his passport(Is this Loretta's trick?).

Back at the café, Ty and Loretta enter the Café to fanfare, followed by her parents. They sit at a table with the real Alexis, who is now out of jail, and friendly with them. It's suggested that Adolphe owes Ty something for his act. Adolphe goes and gets the worthless check Ty handed him for his gambling debt. Ty happily tears it up.

Loretta and Ty part from the others to talk, dance and romance. Loretta says, with a sexy French accent, "I was thinking maybe you give me beeg kiss now". Then, "My accent, it comes and goes, comes and goes", parroting Ty's statement in the flower shop.

I've noted some incongruous or mysterious things in my summary. Maybe you have better insight. See it at You Tube, where there's a good print.


Adolphe Menjou plays a Paris restaurant/nightclub owner who has been embezzling from the place, and he needs to replace 960,000 francs before the auditors go over the books. He wins the money at baccarat, except that the last person to play against him (Tyrone Power) writes a bad check.

So, Menjou comes up with a plan: have Power pretend to be one of the Russian nobility émigrés in Paris of that era, and woo the daughter (Loretta Young) of an American businessman (Charles Winninger) who frequents the place every time he's in Paris.

Complications ensue, everybody turns out OK, more or less. It's really a little trifle, but it entertains you while it runs, and I'm sure audiences of the day loved the opulent sets. You'll probably forget most of it not long after it's over. To be honest, I prefer Love Is News of the Power/Young pairings, but I'll still give Café Metropole a hearty recommendation.
Global Progression

Global Progression

The Top Billing Casting Tyrone Power and Loretta Young play a normal roles in this romantic comedy,actually a couple of guys stolen the show,Firstly the smart and cynical manager Adolphe Menjou and second Gregory Ratoff playing a no longer Russian Prince,but who still have a name to protect your honor when see a fancy phony guy use your name he decided make something to secure the long royal dynasty....well crafted plot on a fantastic movie from the past and glory days!!!


First watch: 2017 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 8


One can see why the studio couldn't help pairing Tyrone Power and Loretta Young - very attractively matched. They were quite taken with their new acquisition of Mr. Power, their answer to Clark Gable, et al, and gave him preferential handling over some of their proved ones, like Ms. Young, who had been a faithful producer for them for some time prior to this. Not only did Mr. Power quickly out-bill her, he also out-earned her, naturally something of an angst to her. He was rather spectacular looking as a young man, but to my mind, did not age as well as some of his counterparts. This is a delightful tale with a lot of fun from several quarters. Helen Westley was my all-around favorite, being, to me, an absolutely diverting woman always in whatever way. Coupled with papa, their segments were among my favorites. Adophe Menjou was faithfully fulfilling with his impish charm here. Very fun film.


This is a harmless though brainless film. However, due to the many logical errors in the film, I can't recommend it as anything other than a time-passer--and only if you can manage to turn off your brain for a while while you watch. Otherwise, what happens in the last portion of the film might make you either throw something at the TV or curse yourself for investing this much time in a dopey film. Now I know that there are many Loretta Young and probably more Tyrone Power fans out there and I don't mean to offend them. Heck, I usually love these actors, too, but I also can't lie and say it's one of their better films.

The film starts off well enough and I really liked the first half. Adolph Menjou is the co-owner of this restaurant but he needs to pay off a "loan" FAST or lost his restaurant. So, on a lark, he gambles and actually earns enough to pay off the money he lent himself (illegally) and save his butt. However, it turns out that the young guy (Tyrone Power) who he won the money from is broke. Instead of sending Power to jail for writing a bad check to cover his losses, Menjou decides to force Power into becoming his slave. And, as his slave, he has Power pose as a Russian prince so they can both bilk a rich young lady (Young) of the money to save the restaurant. So far so good.

Now the fact that Power didn't do so well with impersonating a Russian wasn't a problem--after all, he wasn't supposed to be perfect and she was supposed to eventually figure out that he was a phony. However, and here's where the film gets dumb, although she knows he's a criminal, she falls in love with him(????) and insists she must marry him. Now we could assume that either Miss Young's character is schizophrenic or suffered a massive brain injury, but when her aunt agrees with her and they work hard to get Power (even after he's robbed them), this strains common sense way beyond the breaking point. She barely knew the guy and most of what she knew about him was terrible---yet she insisted on marrying him and having everyone live happily ever after. And on top of this, Ms. Young yells and bellows and over-emotes like mad when she argues with her father about this. Oh, brother, give me a barf bag!!

The only reason I even gave the film a score this high is that despite being brainless, the film had some nice moments and the actors seemed to try hard with material that was simply beneath them. Also, the film deserves no better than a 4 because some excellent dance scenes with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson were in the film but they were cut before it was released!! Fortunately, they are included on the new DVD version of this film. You'll find the first one simply brilliant--and probably better than anything Fred Astaire ever did. The second cut scene is less brilliant and rather politically incorrect, but it's still a shame it was eliminated.


Cafe Metropole (1937)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Decent comedy about the American Alexis (Tyrone Power) who loses a big bet to Monsieur Victor (Adolphe Menjou) and afterwards has to admit that he doesn't have the money to pay up. Through what's basically blackmail, Victor forces Alexis to romance the beautiful and rich Laura (Loretta Young) so that she will marry him and in return Alexis can pay Victor. CAFE METROPOLE offers up a terrific cast but sadly the screenplay is just a tad bit too silly and too far-fetched to be believable. Yes, you might argue that any type of comedy can be silly as long as it makes you laugh and this is certainly true but there's not enough laughs here to really call this a comedy and what happens at the end is just so out of touch with reality that you really can't help but roll your eyes. However, the two leads are in fine form and manage to have that wonderful chemistry that they did throughout their careers. Power isn't believable playing "Russian" but this here isn't all that important as I can overlook this as part of the comedy. Young is as charming as ever and just floats with her grace on camera. The two of them have that good chemistry together and help keep the film moving. Menjou is also good in his supporting role even though the screenplay does very little to actually help him. I think the film works best early on when we see Power and Menjou going after one another as they try to solve the issue with the money. Once Young enters the picture you have the before mentioned chemistry but the screenplay just becomes too wacky for its own good. I think a dose of reality would have really helped things and the various crosses in the final fifteen-minutes just don't work. Still, fans of the three stars will still want to check this one out.


The character players are the best here. Adolph Menjou was generally reliable and here he is plausible as a shady restaurateur. Charles Winninger and Helen Westley are somewhat amusing as Americans. (This takes place in Paris.) Gregory Ratoff is less interesting. He was Russian but if his Russian dialogue is legitimate, I must have misheard my Russian grandparents and wasted four years in Russian class at an Ivy league school. (And both are possible. The point is, he is not well directed.) Tyrone Power seems uncomfortable as the male lead. Loretta Young's character is written well. It is probably the most complex in the movie. And she was almost always good.

Somehow she doesn't seem to have filmed well, albeit often in soft focus. She was one of the greatest beauties in Hollywood history and had a long, illustrious career. Here, though, her overbite is very noticeable and she seems unnecessarily thin.

Nothing about the movie is offensive but it never really convinces.