Directed by Edmond T. Gréville • 1935 • France
Starring Josephine Baker, Albert Préjean, Robert Arnoux
Buoyed by the success of the French musical ZOU ZOU a year earlier, the same team created this comedy in which a mischievous shepherd girl rises through society to become a pretend princess and the toast of Paris nightlife. While in Tunisia seeking inspiration for a new novel, a French aristocrat (Albert Préjean) becomes infatuated with the innocent gamin Alwina (Josephine Baker) and constructs a plot to bring her back to Paris and pass her off as an Indian princess. In a thinly veiled parallel to Baker’s own experience, Alwina becomes a celebrity, a favorite subject for the city’s great artists, and a guest at the most important social events. Her rise to notoriety climaxes in a posh nightclub, where she strips off her shimmering evening gown and dances as only La Baker could.
Please be advised: this film contains offensive racial stereotypes.