Romance with a Double Bass

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Romance with a Double Bass
Directed byRobert Young
Written byJohn Cleese
Robert Young
Screenplay byBill Owen
Based onRomance with a Double Bass
by Anton Chekhov
StarringJohn Cleese
Connie Booth
Graham Crowden
Freddie Jones
Music byLeon Cohen
Release date
Running time
approx. 40 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom

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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