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Princess Caraboo

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jan 01, 2002)
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$74.96 $26.12

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Editorial Reviews

Caraboo, a beautiful and exotic young woman who speaks an unknown language, mysteriously appears ina small English village in 1817. Her arrival creates tremondous curiosity among the townspeople, and she soon captures the imagination of England's wealthy aristocrats, who decide that she must be Japanese royalty.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Phoebe Cates, John Lithgow, Jim Broadbent, Wendy Hughes, Kevin Kline
  • Directors: Michael Austin
  • Producers: Simon Bosanquet, Andrew S. Karsch
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 2 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F5ZL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Princess Caraboo" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Based upon a true story, this is a charming film with wonderful performances by a stellar cast. It tells the tale of a mysterious young woman (Phoebe Cates) in nineteenth century England, who is found wandering the countryside dressed in outlandish clothing and supposedly speaking no English. She is taken in by a kindly aristocratic family, and she gulls them into believing that she is some sort of exotic, foreign royal, Princess Caraboo.

Princess Caraboo charms all who meet her. Everyone is intrigued by her. Just who is she and where is she from? The Greek butler (Kevin Kline) thinks that she is an imposter. The aristocratic couple ( Jim Broadbent and Wendy Hughes), who virtually adopt her, believe her to be the real deal. The skeptical academic (John Lithgow), who specializes in Southeastern Asian languages and dialects and was brought in to try and determine her origin, is not immune to the charm of Princess Caraboo. Even the intrepid reporter, Mr. Gutch (Stephen Rea), who is onto something that may reveal the mystery of Princess Caraboo, falls under her spell.

Phoebe Cates outdid herself, giving a wonderful performance in an inherently difficult role that calls for speaking very little, and when she does speak it is, for the most part, to utter what sounds like gibberish. She is very expressive and totally charms the viewer. Jim Broadbent and Wendy Hughes are terrific as the aristocratic couple. Kevin Kline gives an over the top performance as the wily Greek butler. John Lithgow is outstanding as the academic and drolly funny. Stephen Rea is wonderful as the conflicted reporter, giving a well nuanced and sensitive performance. All in all, this is a perfectly delightful film that is suitable for the entire family.

The DVD itself offers high quality visuals and audio, but offers no special features or bonus extras.
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Format: VHS Tape
Princess Caraboo is simultaneously a wonderful fairy tale of a lost princess who survives harrowing adventures in a foreign land, and also a light treatment of a period of social unrest and class struggle in historic England.
The fairy tale is the more compelling of the two aspects, which makes this movie a wonderful film for adults and children alike. Cates' unswerving imperial manner juxtaposed with her childlike wonder are engrossing not only to us, the audience, but to the people swept up in her adventure, especially the wonderful Stephen Rea as a cynical journalist transformed by her strength and beauty.
The social commentary is touched upon only lightly and occasionally, making the resolution to the question of the princess somewhat of a letdown; we aren't really given anough information to understand how she got to where she did. (Sorry for the vagueness -- I'm avoiding spoilers, here.) However, the concurrent resolution of the problems of Mrs. Warren, the kind lady who took in the princess, is worth whatever confusion or incompleteness there might be.
Overall, this is a delightful story for all ages, which sparks the imagination and holds your interest until the very last moment.
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Format: DVD
This is such a wonderful movie -- engaging, humorous, delightful, romantic, and based on a real event. Beautifully acted and produced, with wonderful costumes, it also provides good fodder for a family discussion of human values. It's easy for us to become complacent about the idea that "all humanity is created equal" (of equal value) - but that's a radical notion throughout most of human history, even "civilized" England from a few hundred years ago. Buy it! Enjoy it!
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Format: DVD
This is a thoroughly charming story. Phoebe Cates is a marvel, and puts in a terrifically nuanced performance. Stephen Rea is a perfect Gutch, a subdued rabbit of a reporter who has the journalistic sense to sniff out and test a story, and yet may not have the nerve to shake up his life in order to claim the woman he loves. Yeesh, that sounds like something out of Danielle Steele, but trust me, the story is ravishing, but not the least gushy or "rouged". Reminds me, though, that the other thing we've seen Cates in, was a Steele-ish series, and ... well, Cates is a perfectly beguiling Caraboo/Baker (so beguiling a Caraboo, it is really a shock to find that she is actually Mary Baker), which you may not expect from the sort of "potboiler" casting of this other, Steele-ish thing. Lithgow as a skeptic-don-turned-true-believer ... I am not a huge Lithgow fan, but he is perfect is this supporting role; he carries off both ends of the transition admirably. I am astonished to read that a reviewer finds fault with Kline. Both Lithgow and Kline perform with expertly-gauged restraint; in comparison, Jim Broadbent's Mr Worrall is buffoonish, but this too is in perfect service to the story. Indeed, there is a (distant) comparison to be made between Broadbent/Kline and Bertie Wooster/Jeeves ... the light-of-intellect master, and the shrewd-but-always-decorous servant. Even Kline's zealous "testing" of Caraboo in the Worralls' absence, is brilliantly measured.
The whole cast perform wonderfully; the camera-work is a delight; the story is enchanting. If you haven't seen it, why, remedy this appalling oversight immediately!
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