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Adventure for Two (1943)

The Demi-Paradise (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 December 1943 (UK)
Ivan Kouznetsoff (Sir Laurence Olivier), a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naive about... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Asquith

Writer:

Anatole de Grunwald (as Anatole De Grunwald)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Olivier ... Ivan Kouznetsoff
Penelope Dudley-Ward ... Ann Tisdall (as Penelope Ward)
Marjorie Fielding Marjorie Fielding ... Mrs. Tisdall
Margaret Rutherford ... Rowena Ventnor
Felix Aylmer ... Mr. Runalow
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Herbert Tisdall
Leslie Henson ... Himself
Guy Middleton ... Dick Christian
Michael Shepley ... Mr. Walford
Edie Martin ... Miss Winifred Tisdall
Muriel Aked ... Mrs. Tisdall-Stanton
Joyce Grenfell ... Sybil Paulson
Everley Gregg ... Mrs. Flannel
Jack Watling ... Tom Sellars
David Keir David Keir ... Jordan
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Storyline

Ivan Kouznetsoff (Sir Laurence Olivier), a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naive about British people, and convinced by hearsay that they are shallow and hypocritical, Ivan is both bemused and amused by them. He is blunt in his opinions about Britons, and at first this puts off his hosts, including the lovely Ann Tisdall (Penelope Dudley-Ward), whose grandfather runs the shipbuilding firm that will make use of Ivan's propeller. The longer Ivan stays, however, the more he comes to understand the humor, warmth, strength, and conviction of the British people, and the more they come to see him as a friend, rather than merely a suspicious Russian. As a romantic bond grows between Ivan and Ann, a cultural bond begins to grow as well, particularly as the war begins, and Russia is attacked by Germany. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

20 December 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventure for Two See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Asquith directed Sir Laurence Olivier and Penelope Dudley-Ward in I Stand Condemned (1935), in which Olivier also played a Russian called Ivan. See more »

Goofs

Beatrice Harrison's cello-and-nightingale broadcasts were mostly in the 1920s, but in any case no live broadcast would have been made during an air raid since it would give information to the enemy. (For this reason recordings were used for Big Ben chimes instead of the live feed when an air raid was in progress.) See more »

Quotes

Ivan Kouznetsoff: I don't understand the English.
Mr. Runalow: My dear fellow, who does?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Joking decides great things stronger and better oft than earnest can . . ." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinema: Sir Laurence Olivier (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Volga Boat Song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Leighton Lucas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Olivier as a Russian engineer
18 June 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Laurence Olivier is a Russian who comes to the U.K. to work on a propeller in "The Demi-Paradise," a 1943 propaganda film directed by Anthony Asquith. Since the Russians became allies in World War II, much was done in film so that they would be seen in a favorable light. At first, Ivan, the Olivier character, regards everyone with suspicion, having heard all sorts of clichés about the English. But with time, they win him over, helped by the daughter (Penelope Ward) of the man in charge of building the ship that will house the propeller.

Olivier's accent is good, but as someone pointed out, the slow way he speaks makes him seem dumb, which, as an engineer, he isn't. On the other hand, it's probably realistic, since it would be a second language.

There are a few funny scenes, and the film is infected with a lot of warmth. It's good, but not great.


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