26 March 2011 3:46 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

The Merry Widow (1934) Direction: Ernst Lubitsch Cast: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Edward Everett Horton, Una Merkel, George Barbier, Minna Gombell, Sterling Holloway Screenplay: Ernest Vajda and Samson Raphaelson; from Franz Lehár's operetta Oscar Movies Highly Recommended Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier, The Merry Widow The Merry Widow is neither one of Ernst Lubitsch's most discussed nor best-liked films. Film critics and historians generally tend to focus on a couple of his early, pre-Code Paramount talkies, One Hour with You (co-directed with George Cukor) and Trouble in Paradise, and his later comedies Ninotchka and To Be or Not to Be. But that's the critics' and historians' fault. For the visually and aurally arresting The Merry Widow is a superlative musical, boasting sumptuous sets (production design by Cedric Gibbons), exquisite black-and-white cinematography (Oliver T. Marsh), and a magnificently staged ballroom-dancing sequence that should impress even those who couldn't care less about »

- Andre Soares

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