Synopsis by Janiss Garza
This was the first time William Balfe's popular romantic opera was filmed. Although other operas made successful transitions to the silent screen (Carmen was one of them), this one did not have enough action to overcome the absence of its songs. Thaddeus (Ivor Novello) saves the life of a little girl. Her father, Count Arnheim (Henry Vibart), hosts a dinner with Thaddeus as guest of honor. But one of Thaddeus' Gypsy compatriots, Devilshoof (C. Aubrey Smith), kidnaps the child. The girl, Arline (Gladys Cooper), grows up in the Gypsy camp and Thaddeus, who is really a royal of Polish descent, falls in love with her. This angers the Gypsy Queen (Constance Collier) and she tries to thwart the romance. When Arline is reunited with her father, she and Thaddeus are separated, but eventually the Count gives the couple his blessings. This doesn't sound like it would ever form the basis for a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy picture but -- as the comic duo's fans all know -- that's what it became in 1936.