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The Merry Widow (1925)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  25 January 1926 (UK)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,668 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 16 critic

A prince must woo the now wealthy dancer he once abandoned in order to keep her money in the country in order to keep it from crashing economically.

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(screen adaptation and scenario), (screen adaptation and scenario), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sally - The Merry Widow
...
...
Crown Prince Mirko
Josephine Crowell ...
Queen Milena
George Fawcett ...
King Nikita
...
Baron Sadoja
Edward Connelly ...
Ambassador
Edit

Storyline

Prince Danilo falls in love with dancer Sally O'Hara. His uncle, King Nikita I of Monteblanco forbids the marriage because she is a commoner. Thinking she has been jilted by her prince, Sally marries old, lecherous Baron Sadoja, whose wealth has kept the kingdom afloat. When he dies suddenly, Sally must be wooed all over again by Danilo. Written by David Eickemeyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

25 January 1926 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Viúva Alegre  »

Box Office

Budget:

$608,016 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Author Scott Eyman, in his book "Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer", says that Mae Murray was "abusive, borderline delusional, and served as the primary inspiration for the character of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950)." When she was later in difficulties, Louis B. Mayer "refused to add her to his list of pensioners." See more »

Goofs

A title card reads "a prince has a duty to his country higher then [sic] his duty to himself," a grammatical error unusual for such a prestigious studio as MGM. See more »

Connections

Version of A Viúva Alegre (1909) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Torrid Mae Murray and John Gilbert
3 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superb film by Erich von Stroheim who "personally directed" this lush and romantic blockbuster starring Mae Murray and John Gilbert.

Gilbert plays a European prince who falls for American "danseuse" Murray. Of course his leering cousin the Crown prince (Roy D'Arcy) also has a yen for blonde Murray. The boys clash but Murray prefers Gilbert until he is tricked into jilting her at the altar. She then marries the nation's leading banker (Tully Marshall) who has a foot fetish. He croaks of their wedding night and she becomes "The Merry Widow," a notorious party goer and high liver.

The lovers meet again at Maxim's in Paris where Murray pretends to prefer the oozing D'Arcy. Gilbert gets drunk. On a morning horse ride Murray and D'Arcy come across Gilbert sprawled drunk by the roadside. In a fit, Gilbert strikes the loathsome prince and is challenged to a duel. Murray races to the fog-ridden gunfest but Gilbert has already been shot.

Von Stroheim, notorious for his excesses in GREED is more constrained with THE MERRY WIDOW but still manages some startlingly decadent touches. Murray is fabulous as a the dancer and gets one whole routine to herself a la Martha Grahame as well as the striking and sensual waltz with Gilbert. Gilbert seethes with masculinity and lust for Murray. They are quite a couple. Von Stroheim gives each star maximum close-ups to great effect. Murray has two grand entrances: one in black gown and diamonds for a royal ball; a second all in white fur cape and feathers for her entrance at Maxim's.

The film is highly dramatic, romantic, and sensual but manages touches of humor. A real feast. George Fawcett is the old king; Josephine Crowell is the queen.

In 1925 John Gilbert would have been a shoe in for a best actor Oscar between his performances in THE MERRY WIDOW and THE BIG PARADE. Murray would likely have been a best actress contender. Great film.


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