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


Overview

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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:
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
A Cinematic Vienna Torte See more (27 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)
Lon 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)
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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


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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:
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:
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:
Col. Rockoff:Lieutenant, I'm here on a very confidential mission. Her highness, the Princess Anna, wanted to talk to you, but before talking to you, naturally she took up the matter with her father, His Majesty, the King. His Majesty, the King, decided that Her Highness...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Waltz Dream (1925)See more »
Soundtrack:
Kaiserlied (Austrian National Anthem 1795-1918)See more »

FAQ

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A Cinematic Vienna Torte, 24 July 2003
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA

Beat until thick a highly libidinous young officer of the Guards. Sift together and stir in a pompous little king and his dowdy princess daughter. Whip in gradually a lovely female violinist. Gently fold in some beautiful music and a liberal amount of highly suggestive dialogue. Lightly bake in a mythical kingdom for 88 minutes. The results - THE SMILING LIEUTENANT.

Director Ernst Lubitsch created a triumph in this scintillating pre-Code film which is as light and airy now as it was when first released. Replete with wonderful performances & an effervescent script, it is still sophisticated and remarkably frank. Lubitsch relied heavily on the intelligence of his audience. He knew that a delicate touch would be appreciated by those able to anticipate & understand the nuances of his humor. The fact that this worked so beautifully with both his dialogue and the film music - (songs and background music, which serve to move the plot right along) - only one year after Hollywood fully embraced sound pictures shows the genius of the director's craft.

Oozing Gallic charm, Maurice Chevalier lets his musical skills and highly facile face telegraph to the audience exactly what kind of an amorous rogue his character is. Madly in love with the beautiful Claudette Colbert, but forced to wed the (slightly) frumpy Miriam Hopkins, he is highly amusing as he watches his romantic house of cards come crashing down. The ladies also add greatly to the fun, with sleek Colbert advising pouty Hopkins in song to jazz up her lingerie if she wants to win Chevalier's attentions. (The idea that Hopkins must transform into a wanton woman to entice her husband to commence his connubial responsibilities is dubious at best.)

George Barbier plays the easily offended corpulent King of Flausenthurm. Wonderful character actor Charlie Ruggles is hilarious in the small role of the officer who wishes to woo Colbert first. Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Elizabeth Patterson as the elderly baroness attending on the Princess.

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