Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The second of three versions of the Ferenc Molnar play The Swan, One Romantic Night represented the talkie debut of the great Lillian Gish. The star plays Alexandra, a mittel-European princess who falls in love with Dr. Hafler (Conrad Nagel), her brother's tutor. Alas, affairs of state demand that Alexandra marry Prince Albert (Rod La Rocque), whom she does not love despite his graciousness and affability. Our heroine's problem is twofold: she must let Dr. Hafler down gently -- then she must do the same for herself. Though about ten years too old for her role, Lillian Gish is as serenely regal as ever and does a nice job of modulating her stage-trained voice (which under normal circumstances was capable of reaching the last row of the balcony) for the more intimate demands of the microphone. For the record, the original Broadway production of The Swan starred Eva Le Galleine; the 1925 film version starred Frances Howard, while the 1956 remake top-billed Grace Kelly, who of course eventually became a real-life princess.