Delightful make-believe of Ferenc Molnar’s venerable play The Swan makes for a genteel picture about genteel people in a never-never world of crowns, titles and luxury living. There’s subtle humor and broad humor, and several scenes that reach right into the heart.
Co-starring with Grace Kelly is Alec Guinness, who adds the correct, modified comedy touch to his role of the crown prince who, regardless of what audiences might want, must end up with the princess, and Louis Jourdan, who adds a feeling romantic flavor to his character of the commoner-tutor who dares to love the princess. Kelly shines right along with her male stars as the princess.
A standout romantic sequence occurs during a ball welcoming the crown prince. The tutor and Kelly fall in love right before your eyes as they dance to ‘The Swan Waltz’.
Abetting the star trio with sock support in featured roles are Jessie Royce Landis, Kelly’s mother; Brian Aherne, as the monk; Estelle Winwood, the pixilated, not-bright old maid sister of Landis and Agnes Moorehead, the strident queen mother.