One Romantic Night (1930)

Director: Paul L. Stein

Writers: Maxwell Anderson (adaptation) Melville Baker (adaptation) 3 May 1930 (USA)

Lillian Gish … Princess Alexandra

  • Rod La Rocque … Prince Albert
  • Conrad Nagel … Dr. Nicholas Haller
  • Marie Dressler … Princess Beatrice
  • O.P. Heggie … Father Benedict
  • Albert Conti … Count Lutzen
  • Edgar Norton … Colonel Wunderlich
  • Billie Bennett … Princess Symphorosa
  • Philippe De Lacy … Prince George
  • Byron Sage … Prince Arsene
  • Barbara Leonard … Mitzi

Conrad Nagel, Lillian Gish, Rod La Rocque, Direktor Paul L. Stein ermahnt, The Swan

This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast.

Lillian Gish Conrad Nagel 1930 Swan 3

It’s earliest documented telecast was Wednesday 13 July 1949 on WJZ, New York City. “One Romantic Night” is a highly satisfactory entertainment, even though it has lost some of its literary value in the studio transcription.

Lillian Gish Conrad Nagel 1930 Swan 2

Also, the acting of Conrad Nagel as the Tutor and Rod La Rocque as the Prince does not measure up to that of Basil Rathbone and Philip Merivale, who were beheld in these respective rôles on the stage. A silent picture was produced of this play in 1925 and its chief claim to fame was the direction of Dimitri Buchowetzki and the excellent portrayal of the Prince of Adolphe Menjou. Besides the sensitive and gracious interpretation of Miss Gish, there is a splendid performance by Marie Dressler, who creates no end of fun in the part of Princess Alexandra’s mother, Princess Beatrice. The venerable Father Hyacinth’s name is changed in the film to Father Benedict, a part that is undertaken by O. P. Heggie. This screen diversion was directed by Paul Stein, who has succeeded in making the action considerably clearer than it was in the mute offspring. Most of the photography is beyond reproach, but in a few scenes it is somewhat flat, due to the background being of the same shade as gowns worn by Miss Gish and Miss Dressler.” – NY Times –


BIG news this month ! Another first-line star of the silents blooms on the talking screen—not only with an excellent phonoplay voice, but in an entirely new character! Not a fan in the country suspected the existence of the Lillian Gish who sparkles through this romantic comedy.

Not only is she beautiful—she is alluring, fit to set the heads of prince and commoner awhirl. Her voice, in quality, is first rate. Her speech is a model for all American actresses, in that it is utterly without affectation. It is purest American, as contrasted with that of the poorly equipped girls who fake an English accent with disastrous results.

The Movies Mr. Griffith and Me (03 1969) - One Romantic Night 1930 — with Lillian Gish and Rod LaRocque.

You may gather that “One Romantic Night” is a personal triumph for Lillian Gish, and it is. This tale of the love of a princess and a serious young tutor, with a young prince and a marriage of state hanging over the romance, gives the star a chance to be beautiful, gay and gently sad. The whipped, woeful Lillian of other days is pushed aside by a new, vivacious person. Her playing is a model for high comediennes.

She is aided by excellent performances by O. P. Heggie and Marie Dressier—two fine actors who always rise above a weak story. Conrad Nagel plays the tutor with some distinction— Rod LaRocque does the prince with none. Lillian Gish’s first talkie performance is truly distinguished.

It makes a visit a delightful obligation.

Photoplay Magazine for April, 1930

(one romantic night) de paul l. stein 1930 usa avec lillian gish et rod la rocque couple, balcon, uniforme d'apres la piece de ferenc molnar

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“THE SWAN” glides out upon the waters of the photoplay once more, this time wired for sound! Lillian Gish as the princess in the talkie version of Molnar’s famous play. No longer a beaten child, but a very modern young lady with pep and ideas!

Photoplay Magazine for March, 1930

The Film Daily - May 14, 1930 - One Romantic Night (The Swan)

AFTER years of trouping, the Gish family has a home! When Lillian came back from Hollywood after making “The Swan,” she took a long lease on a beautiful apartment in New York. It overhangs the East River, with its fogs, its lights and its ferry boats. Lillian could drop a flat-iron on the head of a barge hand from her parlor window—if she was that sort. There sits her beautiful invalid mother, looking across at the lights of Brooklyn. There friends like to visit. Lillian feels more at home than she ever has before.

Photoplay Magazine for March, 1930

Photoplay Magazine for April, 1930 (The best performances of the month)
Photoplay Magazine for April, 1930 (The best performances of the month)

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