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Thin Ice

Thin Ice(1937)

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The management of the Grand Hotel Imperial in St. Christophe in the Alps and, indeed, the whole town, prays for snow now that the temperature is eighty-two degrees and an international conference to sign a three power pact is to arrive the next day. It snows during the prayers, and the next day Prince Rudolph, who would rather ski than make history, arrives pretending to have influenza, so that the representatives of the other countries, the Baron and the Count, will be kept at each other's throats until the negotiations begin. When Prince Rudolph's chauffeur drives his sweetheart Lili Heiser, the skating instructress at the hotel, in the prince's limousine, villagers spread a rumor that the prince and Lili are having a romance. On the ski slopes, Lili meets the prince, who identifies himself as newspaper reporter Rudy Miller. She is surprised when she learns that the hotel manager, who earlier rebuffed her suggestion that she skate for the guests, now presents her with a contract. That night she gives a gala performance, which the prince, in disguise, attends. In the morning, Lili and the prince ski, and after he mentions the rumors, she returns to the hotel and angrily denies them to the Count and the Baron, who each want her to influence Prince Rudolph. The continuing headlines about the romance prompt scores of tourists to visit. Prince Rudolph proposes to Lili; however, Prime Minister Ulricht arrives and has the prince carried away to stop the marriage. After Lily, still unaware of the prince's real identity, refutes the rumors, the Baron and the Count, thinking that Prince Rudolph invented the story of the romance to trick them, unite and demand an immediate settlement of the pact. Ulricht, who has worked forty years to break the alliance of the Count and the Baron, now accepts Prince Rudolph's solution: he can prove that the story is true by letting them marry. When Prince Rudolph reveals his identity to Lili, who believed that "Rudy" left because of the stories, she faints in his arms but revives to skate again that night at the hotel.