Fans of luminous film star Grace Kelly believe that the musical comedy High Society with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby was Her last feature film after Her marriage to Prince Rainer III of Monaco in 1956. But more than two decades later, the Oscar-winning actress turned Princess produced and starred in a light comedy film entitled Rearranged that has only been viewed by a very limited audience.
Grace Kelly always had a passion for flowers. As a young girl in Philadelphia, she entered floral arrangements in the local Flower Show competition and years later, after She became Princess of Monaco, She founded the Garden Club of Monaco which to this day still hosts a prestigious annual International Bouquet Competition.
One year, Princess Grace decided to produce a Hollywood-style film to promote the Garden Club’s annual competition. She enlisted the help of her friend, Jacqueline Monsigny, a French romance novelist married to an American actor, Edward Meeks. The Princess recruited Robert Dornhelm as the director, having recently worked with him to produce a voiceover for the documentary The Children of Theatre Street.
For the film's plot, Monsigny, who had written over 40 historical romance novels, chose a story of mistaken identity: Professor Nelson (played by Meeks), a famous astrophysicist, arrives in Monaco to address a scientific conference. Upon his arrival at the airport, he is mistaken by Princess Grace's chauffeur for a travel journalist who has come to report on the Flower Show. Arriving at the palace, Nelson tries to explain the mix-up to Princess Grace (playing Herself) but She mischievously enrolls him in the competition. Ultimately, the Professor is introduced to a newfound beauty of flower arranging.
Rearranged was shot over 10 days in several locations in Monaco including the Place D'Armes and the now-demolished Sporting d'Hiver building. The Princess recruited friends, Garden Club members, and staff to appear in the film including Her chauffeur and head of security. Eventually, even Prince Rainier appeared in a cameo, posing as one of the competitors in the bouquet arranging.
After more than a year of editing, the Princess presented the film to an audience of more than 500 people at the 13th annual Garden Club Gala. The 33-minute film was so well received, that the Princess traveled to the United States to show Rearranged to friends Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. Following a pitch to ABC-TV, they agreed to broadcast the film, however, the filmmakers needed to add another 15 minutes so that it could be aired in a one-hour time slot with time for commercials. Monsigny got to work on an expanded script which she finished in the summer of 1982. It was agreed that the cast would reconvene in September 1982 to capture the final footage.
Due to the tragic and untimely passing of Princess Grace, the final 15 minutes of “Rearranged” were never captured on film. Today the original version rests in the Audiovisual Archives of the Principality of Monaco and only a few lucky people have viewed the film since her death—but they all agree on one thing: the Princess was at Her best in the film, playing herself, generous, serene and effortlessly regal.
This post was provided by Annette Ross Anderson. Annette is a partner and Marketing Manager at the iconic Monaco restaurant and sports bar, Stars'N'Bars. Over the last 30 years, she has hosted the Monaco multi-mix of royals, billionaires, celebrities, expats, university students, and yachtsmen that make up Monaco's diverse social universe. Annette also oversees the MonacoUSA Association, a social and business network in the principality. A trained journalist and business writer, she is currently working on a screenplay inspired by the legacy of Princess Grace.
Photo Credits: IMDB. photo fanpix