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Escapade

Escapade(1935)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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In turn-of-the-century Vienna, Anita Keller, the fiancée of orchestra conductor Paul Harrandt, wins a chinchilla muff and a scarf in a raffle held at a social event. Later, Anita's sister Gerta wears Anita's new furs and sneaks out of a ball in order to pose for the famous Viennese artist Fritz Heideneck. When Fritz's portrait of Gerta, in which she appears clad only in the muff, is printed in a local newspaper with Anita's name attached, a scandal results. Though the face of the woman in the picture is hidden behind a mask, people soon begin to suspect that Anita and Fritz are having an affair. Fritz, who is as famous for his philandering as he is for his art, has indeed been carrying on a secret affair with Anita, who has promised to leave her fiancé for him. When Paul's brother Karl discovers the picture, he immediately suspects an impropriety on the part of his soon-to-be sister-in-law, and insists that Paul investigate the matter. Though Paul does not believe that Anita is the pictured model, he goes to Fritz's in order to satisfy his brother's demand. There, the artist confirms that Anita had no part in the partially nude pose, but refuses to tell him who his model actually was. Paul believes Fritz, and asks him to invent a fake name for his model to put an end to Karl's suspicions. They agree on the name Leopoldine Major, whose name they find in the city directory. When the newspapers reveal the name of the model, however, the real Leopoldine, an attendant to the Countess Feldon, is shocked. Paul, on the pretext of delivering an invitation to a Philharmonic Society party to the countess, visits Leopoldine, but his attempt to explain the situation is thwarted by the countess, who, upon receiving the invitation, insists that Leopoldine attend the event in her stead. Karl's suspicions about Anita's amoral character are only heightened when he sees Leopoldine in person at the ball and realizes that her body does not resemble the one in the picture. Meanwhile, Anita learns about Karl's suspicions and tells him that the only way he can receive her forgiveness for such an accusation is to procure a new picture from Fritz of the model, unmasked. Meanwhile, Fritz, who has fallen in love with Leopoldine, refuses to involve her in any further schemes, and rejects Karl's request to draw her. When the cab driver who took Gerta to Fritz' on the fateful night swears to Karl that it was Gerta and not Anita in his cab, Karl tries to prevent any further scandals by paying him off. Anita, however, learns of Fritz' affair with Leopoldine, and before Karl can stop her, tells a party of women of the scandal without naming the individuals involved. Leopolidine drops her serving tray in shock when she overhears Anita's story. Before attending a concert, the jealous Anita shoots Fritz, and when Leopoldine finds him hemorrhaging, she rushes to the opera house to fetch Karl, the only doctor who can treat Fritz secretly. Though reluctant to help the man who compromised his wife, Karl successfully resuscitates Fritz, and then returns to the opera house, where he places the gun that Anita carelessly left behind at the scene of the crime in her purse to save her from incrimination.