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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 1,660 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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Title: The Merry Widow (1925)

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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 Great Performances: The Merry Widow (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Good... sometimes great version... but no classic
19 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

It may be a matter of taste but as much as I like and admire Erich Von Stroheim work before and behind the camera, his reputation as a `genius' doesn't seem justified by the films themselves.

Certainly Merry Widow is filmed with great style and the opulent design is certainly diverting. Also the decision to turn the story from light opera to fairly heavy drama is completely in keeping with Von Stroheim 's own rather cynical outlook. But I find his obsessive dwelling on details can make for a slow and even tedious viewing experience, especially in the first half which seems to spend an inordinate amount of time setting the relationship between the dashing, irreverent but humanist Prince Danilo Petrovich (Gilbert - in wonderful form) and the pompous, tight lipped and distinctly perverse Crown Prince Mirko (Roy D'Arcy).with scenes prolonged far longer than their dramatic weight justifies. Also where the film attempts a lighter tone, the effect is of a concrete soufflé, with every glance and double entendre painfully spelt out.

However this is still a satisfying film as a whole, especially in the second half where we finally have some DRAMA. Here in sequence after sequence we finally start to understand Von Stroheim's reputation as he examines the decaying Royal family under a particularly unflattering microscope. The tryst with the blindfolded musicians is a particularly memorable scene.

Having heard of Mae Murray's terrible treatment of the Von and others in her career, I had a tough time warming to her in this, but I have to admit she gives a great performance as Sally O ' Hara, an innocent who's mistreatment at the hands of the family almost ruins her life. Roy D'Arcy makes an indelible impression as the creepy Mirko, his every gesture filling one with disgust.

But for my money it's Gilbert's work that makes this film worthwhile. One of the very finest of silent actors, the expressiveness of his eyes, the tenderness of his playing and bearing throughout make his character completely convincing and his torment over loosing Sally a felt and poignant loss.


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