Smartness of direction, plus a few comedy situations, turn an ordinary Cinderella theme into pleasing light film diversion. The Gay Deception is so named because a prince masquerades as a hotel bellboy and makes Cindy’s triumph possible.
If nothing else, Gay Deception fits Francis Lederer better than anything he’s done. Here he’s both a bellboy and a prince. One scene provides him with white tie for contrast. While the story is totally fanciful, and to some extent a travesty, it has a way of going along as a little romantic opera bouffe.
William Wyler directed and is a happy selection for this type of story and cast. Casting has been done with a keen sense of appreciation for humor. Frances Dee is excellent as Mirabel, the small town girl who cashes $5,000 on a sweepstake ticket and goes to New York to live like a queen. As Sandro, Lederer is afforded every liberty as a light comedian by the story and the direction. Lennox Pawle, as a fawning consul-general, is an unusual type.
Locale of most of the action is clearly meant to be the Waldorf-Astoria, for which the film is something of a plug in spite of its gentle ribbing about service and the like. Film labels the hostelry the Waldorf-Plaza.