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Literature / Romance with a Double Bass

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"Romance with a Double Bass" is a short story (only three pages long!) by Anton Chekhov, that was later adapted into a 1974 featurette from the United Kingdom. The adaptation was written by John Cleese, Connie Booth, and Bill Owen.

Smychkov, 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, 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.


The first film adaptation of this story was made in Russia in 1911 as a short silent, directed by Kai Hansen. This is available on YouTube.

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