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UCLA Festival of Preservation

Thirty Day Princess

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Saturday 4/19
2:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  
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dir. Marion Gering, US, 1934, 35mm, b/w, 74 min.

As Paramount enjoyed enormous critical success in the early 1930s, the Great Depression severely threatened the studio’s financial viability. By 1933, Paramount had gone into receivership. Hundreds of employees made enforced exits, including producer B.P. Schulberg who had discovered “It” girl, Clara Bow. A former independent pioneer who became one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, Schulberg’s return to independent production saw him churning out B-pictures for Paramount throughout the early 1930s, many of them helmed by ex-Broadway director Marion Gering and featuring Sylvia Sidney. With her intensely sad eyes, trembling lips, and diminutive and waif-like sensitivity, Sidney was immediately typecast as the studio’s Depression-era heroine. Based on a story published in Ladies’ Home Journal by Clarence Budington Kelland, Thirty Day Princess would be one of Sidney’s rare screen appearances in a light comedy. Under contract to Paramount at the time, a young Cary Grant was struggling to secure a studio identity in second-tier “tuxedo roles” (several of which were turned down by Gary Cooper). Thirty Day Princess was just such a film.

Although the old prince-and-the-pauper plot of switched identities was already becoming somewhat trite in Hollywood, critics were mostly kind to the film, claiming it a “neat little combination of Cinderella and Zenda.”

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Preservation funding provided by the Packard Humanities Institute

Preserved in cooperation with Universal Pictures from a 35mm nitrate composite print. Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio.