Romance with a Double Bass

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For the silent film, see Romance with a Double Bass (1911 film).
Romance with a Double Bass
Directed by Robert Young
Written by John Cleese
Robert Young
Screenplay by Bill Owen
Based on Romance with a Double Bass 
by Anton Chekhov
Starring John Cleese
Connie Booth
Graham Crowden
Freddie Jones
Release dates
Running time
approx. 40 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Romance with a Double Bass is a 1974 British short comedy film directed by Robert Young. It was adapted by Young and John Cleese from a screenplay by Bill Owen that was originally based on the short story of the same name by Anton Chekhov. It stars Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth. The cast included Andrew Sachs who would work with Cleese and Booth in Fawlty Towers the following year.


Smychkov (Cleese), a bassist, shows up too early for the ball of a beautiful princess, and decides to spend his extra time skinny dipping in the nearby lake. The princess (Booth), meanwhile, has gone fishing at the lake, and later decides to go skinny dipping as well. However, things change when a thief absconds with both Smychkov's and the Princess's clothes, and while the Princess is wandering around, she meets Smychkov. After their initially embarrassing encounter, he tries to help her return to the castle by hiding her in his bass case.

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