IMDb > The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
The Smiling Lieutenant
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The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   2,320 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Leopold Jacobson (operetta) and
Felix Dormann (operetta) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Smiling Lieutenant on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
User Reviews:
THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931) *** See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Maurice Chevalier ... Lt. Nikolaus 'Niki' von Preyn

Claudette Colbert ... Franzi

Miriam Hopkins ... Princess Anna

Charles Ruggles ... Max (as Charlie Ruggles)
George Barbier ... King Adolf XV
Hugh O'Connell ... Niki's Orderly
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maude Allen ... Lady in Waiting (uncredited)
Granville Bates ... Bill Collector (uncredited)
Harry C. Bradley ... Count Von Halden (uncredited)
Carrie Daumery ... Lady in Waiting (uncredited)
Ludwig Heinsich ... Man (uncredited)
Cornelius MacSunday ... Emperor Franz Josef (uncredited)
Elizabeth Patterson ... Baroness von Schwedel (uncredited)
Janet Reade ... Lily (uncredited)
Werner Saxtorph ... Joseph (uncredited)
Karl Stall ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Robert Strange ... Col. Rockoff (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Arresting Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Ernst Lubitsch 
 
Writing credits
Leopold Jacobson (operetta "Ein Walzertraum") and
Felix Dormann (operetta "Ein Walzertraum") (as Felix Dörmann)

Hans Müller (novel "Nux der Prinzgemahl")

Ernest Vajda (screenplay) &
Samson Raphaelson (screenplay)

Jacques Bataille-Henri  dialogue: French version (uncredited)
Ernst Lubitsch  uncredited

Produced by
Ernst Lubitsch .... producer
 
Cinematography by
George J. Folsey  (as George Folsey)
 
Film Editing by
Merrill G. White (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
C.A. Tuthill .... sound (uncredited)
Ernest Zatorsky .... sound (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Harry Froboess .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Adolph Deutsch .... musical director (uncredited)
Johnny Green .... music arranger (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... music arranger (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min (cut version) | 93 min (original version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
UK:U (DVD rating) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Paramount's biggest grossing film of 1931.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:
Lieutenant Niki:As a gentleman I say: "Thank you!"; as a viennese I say: "Moo!"See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Waltz Dream (1925)See more »
Soundtrack:
Breakfast Table LoveSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931) ***, 15 February 2009
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta

"The Lubitsch touch" was all the rage at the start of Hollywood's Talkie era, which is why musical trifles such as this one or the preceding THE LOVE PARADE (1929) – skilfully made and pleasantly risqué though they might be – ended up being major Academy Award contenders for a spell. In fact, the film under review got its sole Oscar nod for Best Picture – an achievement which would become virtually impossible in a decade's time. Popular Continental crooner Maurice Chevalier plays his typical role of a Viennese roué who steals the girl (an almost unrecognizably young Claudette Colbert appearing as a concert violinist) of his comrade-in-arms (Charles Ruggles, who unaccountably disappears from the film after the first few scenes!); standing guard at the ceremony of visiting royalty, he creates a diplomatic scandal for seemingly winking at the naïve princess (Miriam Hopkins) when in fact he had been making eyes at Colbert who was watching the parade from the sidelines! To make amends, he is forced to marry Hopkins but he is not about to be tied down to a life of luxurious boredom and slips out in the commoner's uniform of straw hat and tuxedo for a night on the town every chance he gets; in the meantime, the flustered King comforts his lonesome daughter by playing chess in her boudoir! Colbert and her bandmates give a recital in Chevalier's kingdom and she finds herself invited to the Palace…but it's Hopkins who summoned her – to seek advice on how to ignite Chevalier's passion! Curiously enough, Chevalier had been unusually loyal to Colbert instead of his usual roving self and it is only on the latter's advice (and her involvement in Hopkins' jazzy makeover) that he finally abides willingly to his marital duties. As is customary for Lubitsch, what is left unsaid is about as important as what is spelled out and THE SMILING LIEUTENANT provides the director several instances wherein to indulge his subtle wit: the very opening sequence showing a tailor, who had called at Chevalier's to demand payment, leaving when the door is unanswered while a girl is ushered inside soon afterwards by the accomplice-butler; the sequence showing Ruggles trailing behind Chevalier and Colbert and carrying her violin case; Colbert's indoctrination of the stuffy Hopkins into what the modern woman wears and which music she plays, etc.

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