Escapade, besides being deft and amusing light comedy, is notable as the film introducing Luise Rainer to American audiences. Myrna Loy was originally slated for the part, but walked out. Rainer, the legend goes, had been doing nothing around the studio for quite a spell waiting for the right casting opportunity. It fit her perfectly.
Escapade was made as Maskerade in Vienna. Metro bought the print and the script [by Walter Reisch] and had Herman J. Mankiewicz write and Robert Z. Leonard direct an all-new Hollywood version.
Story concerns a sophisticated young rake (William Powell), who tumbles in love with an innocent sprite (Rainer), whose naivete is in marked contrast to the amorous Viennese beauties who have been chasing the debonair gent. Farcial and melodramatic complications concern the accidental publication of a semi-nude drawing for which a willing-to-philander married lady (Virginia Bruce) has posed in violation of the pre-war proprieties. Her husband (Frank Morgan) believes that his brother’s fiance (Mady Christians) is the real wayward lassie.
Mady Christians, a star in foreign films and upon the New York legit stage, reveals herself an actress of fine capabilities, and the pert minx of Virginia Bruce is also standout on the performance end.
Nobody, of course, will be making any ‘discovery’ of William Powell, for his professional skill is taken for granted. Rainer acts with her brain. Robert Leonard gives her a swell set of bell-ringing closeups.