Champagne

1928, Movie, 86 mins

Review

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One of Alfred Hitchcock's early silent comedies, this frothy tale of a rich girl getting taken down a few pegs will be of interest primarily to completists. Spoiled socialite Betty (Betty Balfour) defies her wealthy father, the "Champagne King" (Gordon Harker) of New York, to date a young man (Jean Bradin) whom dad suspects is only interested in her money. Betty's boyfriend departs for Paris aboard the luxury liner Acquitaine, and she follows; while onboard, she flirts with a shady older fellow dubbed "The Cosmopolitan" (Ferdinand von Alten). Once in Paris, Betty and her beau party and squabble until the Champagne King arrives with the grim news that he's lost all his money. Father and daughter move into a depressing hovel, and Betty secretly gets a job in a cabaret. She soon tires of displaying herself for money, and when she runs into the Cosmopolita again she asks him to take her back to American, not anticipating that he'll book them a single room. But before Betty can despair at what her life has come to, all is revealed: Betty's boyfriend is really a straight-up young man, and the Cosmopolitan is a friend of her father's, hired by the Champagne King — who isn't broke after all — to teach his wayward daughter a lesson about the ways of the world. Though a minor work, this worldly comedy is handsomely staged, and Hitchcock's dry wit is already in evidence. leave a comment

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