MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 11,000 this week

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

Passed  -  Comedy | Romance | Musical  -  1 August 1931 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,321 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 21 critic

Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(operetta), (operetta), 5 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 18 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 48 titles
created 04 Feb 2013
 
a list of 49 titles
created 08 Apr 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Smiling Lieutenant.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Arrowsmith (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Based on Sinclair Lewis's novel "Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A cloistered, overprotected Austrian prince falls in love with a down-to-earth barmaid in this "Vienese fairy tale."

Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, John M. Stahl
Stars: Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, Jean Hersholt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Circa 1861, Angelina, ruling countess of an Italian principality, is at a loss when invaded by a Hungarian army. Her lookalike ancestress Francesca, who saved a similar situation 300 years ... See full summary »

Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger
Stars: Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cesar Romero
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Out of jail for a crime she did not commit, Madelon turns to prostitution and thievery to send her illegitimate son to medical school.

Director: Edgar Selwyn
Stars: Helen Hayes, Lewis Stone, Neil Hamilton
Eternal Love (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the Swiss Alps of the early 19th century, a couple forced into loveless marriages struggle to find happiness with one another.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Victor Varconi
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Harry Liedtke
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mrs Erlynne, the mother of Lady Windermere - her daughter does not know about her - wants to be introduced in society, so that she can marry Lord Augustus Lorton. Lord Windermere, who ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Irene Rich, May McAvoy, Bert Lytell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John has lead a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
The Patriot (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Emil Jannings, Lewis Stone, Florence Vidor
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lt. Nikolaus 'Niki' von Preyn
...
Franzi
...
Princess Anna
...
Max (as Charlie Ruggles)
George Barbier ...
King Adolf XV
Hugh O'Connell ...
Niki's Orderly
Edit

Storyline

Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna from the neighboring kingdom of Flausenthurm drive by, and Anna intercepts a wink meant for Franzi. She falls for Niki, marries him (he has no choice in the matter), and whisks him off to Flausenthurm. Franzi follows and enjoys a brief affair with Niki before Anna finds out. Franzi, much more experienced in the ways of the world, gives Anna lessons on how to win the affections of her husband. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El teniente seductor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The delightful rhythmic underscoring of the film which comments ironically on the mood of the characters may be the first work of the great orchestrator, Conrad Salinger, whose magnificent symphonic arrangements set the style of the MGM musicals of the 1940s and 50s. Salinger was a pupil of Delius. See more »

Goofs

In the latter part of the movie Chevalier bounds up a grand staircase painted to appear as marble but the loud clomp-clomp-clomp of his shoes reveals it to be just wood. See more »

Quotes

King Adolf XV: So that's what she does, eh? Plays the violin?
Princess Anna: Yes, papa. And in public! Tell me, papa, be frank do all girls like that play the violin?
King Adolf XV: Not necessarily, but I'll tell you one thing: they play!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The House That Shadows Built (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaiserlied (Austrian National Anthem 1795-1918)
Music by Joseph Haydn
Lyrics by Lorenz Leopold Haschka
In the score when the emperor arrives
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Intercepted Wink
20 August 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It must have been that the movie-going public loved seeing Maurice Chevalier in those tight uniforms, he seemed to be in them in most of those early talkies he made for American studios. Only now and again would Chevalier play something as prosaic as a tailor.

He's a guardsman again in The Smiling Lieutenant. But with the Austrian Empire at peace all the men have a lot of idle time on their hands. Maurice is busy planning his latest campaign when a friend played by Charlie Ruggles asks him with that Chevalier charm to intercede for him with a female violinist in Claudette Colbert.

Maurice does, but the sly rogue gets her for himself. And then he's put on duty to greet the visiting royal house of Flausenthurm which includes King George Barbier and Princess Miriam Hopkins.

In one of those priceless Ernst Lubitsch moments, Chevalier while at attention spots Colbert across the street and throws a few knowing smiles and winks. But when the coach carrying Barbier and Hopkins passes, Hopkins intercepts one of those winks and considers it an uncalled for act upon a royal personage.

In fact she likes what she sees and persuades Daddy to get the Emperor who's her uncle to part with Chevalier. Of course Maurice the old campaigner likes the idea of being married to the dowdy Hopkins if he's got Claudette on the side.

I won't go any farther, but as you can see just by what I tell you The Smiling Lieutenant is a film made before the Code was put in place. In fact the naughtiness of films like these is what got Hollywood the Code. But it's what also makes it hold up very well for today's audience.

No big song hits come from The Smiling Lieutenant, but Chevalier delivers what's there with his Gallic charm. Even Hopkins and Colbert grab a chorus or two with Maurice. Music is by Oscar Straus with English lyrics by Clifford Grey.

This is before the Code so you have some freedom as to how this film will end, the parameters the Code put in place are no longer there. I should say however that Miriam Hopkins gets a makeover that Paul Venoit and his team would envy.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
THE END!!!!!! simblub
This is why I love movies! gulhatt
Discuss The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?