The Girl Downstairs


1h 17m 1938
The Girl Downstairs

Brief Synopsis

A European playboy falls for his maid.

Film Details

Also Known As
Katherine the Last, The Awakening of Katrina
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Dec 23, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on an Hungarian short story by Sándor Hunyady (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

In Berne, Switzerland, when playboy Paul Wagner sneaks into Rosalind Brown's box at the opera, her father lets him know once again that he is not a proper suitor. Later, while Rosalind cajoles Brown into giving Paul another chance, Paul gets so drunk that he is thrown out of a nightclub. Despite a hangover, Paul arrives at the Brown house the next day, but when Brown's secretary, Adolf Pumpfel, turns out to be a man Paul socked the night before, Paul is banished from the house. All of the servants, except scullery maid Katerina Linz, are shown Paul and ordered not to allow him into house, so Paul arranges to meet Katerina. On Sunday, disguised as a chauffeur, he takes her to a fair, and later sneaks upstairs to see Rosalind. The next day, when Rosalind sends a note to Paul, it must be delivered by Katerina, because the other servants are occupied. When Katerina arrives at Paul's, he pretends that "the master" is out, then, when his friend Charlie arrives, Charlie pretends to be Paul's employer. After Charlie brusquely kisses Katerina, she slaps him, and Charlie "fires" Paul for laughing. Because Katerina is in love with Paul and feels responsible for his predicament, she uses her savings to buy a taxi for him, then asks him to meet her at the fair on Sunday for a surprise. Feeling remorseful for his deception, Paul sends her an apologetic goodbye note, but, as she cannot read, she thinks it is a love letter and waits for him. When he doesn't show up, she goes to his house, and is greeted by Karl, Paul's servant, who tells Paul what has happened. When Paul finds Katerina, he is touched by her gesture and, when he realizes that she couldn't read the letter, he tells her that it said that he loved her. That night, Brown goes to Paul and tells him he has changed his mind and will now accept him as his son-in-law and will announce the engagement at a party on Friday. The next day, Pumpfel shows Brown a picture of Katerina and Paul that he had secretly taken, and Brown conceives of a plan to promote Katerina to parlormaid in time for the party, hoping to break up Rosalind's romance. Paul shows up late, then, just as he tries to tell Rosalind what has happened, Katerina appears. Heartbroken, she tells Brown she doesn't know Mr. Wagner, only his chauffeur, and refuses to listen to Paul. After apologizing to Rosalind, Paul tries to find Katerina, who has left for the train station, so he tells a policeman that she has taken a brooch from him. After her arrest, Paul tells the police that she is his fiancée, and, though she says that she couldn't marry a gentleman, especially one who lies, he tells her that he has always told her the truth, even when he didn't know it.

Film Details

Also Known As
Katherine the Last, The Awakening of Katrina
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Dec 23, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on an Hungarian short story by Sándor Hunyady (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

The Girl Downstairs


A European playboy falls for his maid.
The Girl Downstairs

The Girl Downstairs

A European playboy falls for his maid.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's pre-release titles were Katherine the Last and The Awakening of Katrina. According to the film's program, this was Franciska Gaal's third appearance in American films, and her first for M-G-M. Biographical sources on Gaal note that this was her final American film before her return to Hungary in 1940. The program, as well as reviews, noted that this was to be Franchot Tone's final screen appearance before returning to the Broadway stage. He did return to M-G-M in 1939, however, in Fast and Furious (see below).