A Countess From Hong Kong


2h 1967

Brief Synopsis

US politican Ogen Mears finds in his suit on the liner heading from Hongkong to Hawaii a russian countess, who is fed up with working as a taxi-dancer in Hongkong. Mears falls in love, but there is his wife waiting for him in Hawaii, and a divorce would ruin his chances of being elected.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
G
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Mar 1967
Production Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

On the eve of his departure from Hong Kong, wealthy American diplomat Ogden Mears spends a night ashore in the company of the beautiful Countess Natascha, an impoverished Russian emigrée who, from the age of 13, has survived by working as a dancehall girl. When Ogden's ship sails the next morning, he discovers Natascha hiding in his stateroom. Determined to reach the United States, she threatens to accuse Ogden of abduction and assault if he exposes her as a stowaway. Because Ogden has just been appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia and is already in trouble with his wife, he submits to the blackmail. The voyage becomes a frenzied game of hide-and-seek, with Natascha popping in and out of closets and the bathroom to avoid discovery. Ogden is faced also with the problem of obtaining American citizenship for Natascha. A marriage of convenience is hastily arranged between Natascha and Ogden's manservant, Hudson, with the understanding that once ashore at Honolulu, Natascha will obtain both a passport and a divorce. But when the ship docks and Ogden's wife, Martha, comes aboard to effect a reconciliation, Natascha changes into native garb and dives into the bay. Ten minutes with his wife is enough to convince Ogden that Natascha is more important to him than his diplomatic career. Abandoning all else for love, he joins Natascha at the Waikiki Hotel.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
G
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Mar 1967
Production Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

During the filming of "Countess" in 1966 at Pinewood Studios, the 77 year old Chaplin was walking around outside discussing ideas when his foot got caught in a grate and he broke his ankle. It was the first serious injury that he ever sustained.

It was the first film by Chaplin to be not only in widescreen (which he disliked - see King in New York, A (1957)) but in colour as well.

At the premiere in 1967 in London, the film being shown before had been using a special spherical lens. The projectionist had forgotten to take it off for the 35mm "Countess". The result was a distorted spherical image. The critics instantly blamed it on Chaplin's tired directing techniques. This was obviously not the case, but the film still did badly at the box office and Chaplin himself went into deep depression.

Notes

Copyright length: 113 min. Opened in London in January 1967; running time: 120 min.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 29, 1967

This was Chaplins's last film as director.

Geraldine Chaplin's role was a bit part.

Released in United States Spring April 29, 1967