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The Merry Widow (1934)

Passed  |   |  Musical, Comedy, Romance  |  2 November 1934 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,747 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 14 critic

The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Merry Widow (1934)

The Merry Widow (1934) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Una Merkel ...
Queen
George Barbier ...
King
Minna Gombell ...
Marcelle
Ruth Channing ...
Lulu
...
Orderly
...
Valet
Herman Bing ...
Zizipoff
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Storyline

The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her from getting married by a stranger, so that the danger of removing the money is banned. But this is not that easy as the ambassador in Paris has planned. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The musical that set all the standards. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La viuda alegre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With the financial failure of the film, Maurice Chevalier did not move on to better, more ambitious roles at MGM. The only parts Irving Thalberg offered him were more Gallic charmers, first in The Chocolate Soldier (1941), then in Her Cardboard Lover (1942). The former would have finally paired him with Grace Moore, who had moved to Columbia Pictures and scored a hit in One Night of Love (1934), but Chevalier wanted to return to France. When Thalberg informed him that in order to borrow Moore from Columbia he had had to promise her top billing, a clear violation of Chevalier's contract, the French star claimed breach of contract and left. After only one more film in the U.S. (Folies Bergère de Paris (1935)), he returned to France until after World War II. See more »

Quotes

Ambassador Popoff: Have you ever had diplomatic relations with a woman?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Nelson and Jeanette (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Vilia
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Sterling Holloway (dubbed by Allen Rogers)
See more »

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User Reviews

Lubitsch's greatest musical
19 December 2002 | by (Ottawa) – See all my reviews

Andrew Sarris once wrote that "Lubitsch suggests the art of lilting waltz or bubbling champagne" and nowhere is this truer in "The Merry Widow", Lubitsch's last musical, his first transition to MGM, and my own pick for Lubitsch's greatest musical (rivalled only by either "One Hour With You"(1932) or "The Smiling Lieutenant"(1931)). It just doesn't get any better than this. Lubitsch's approach here is to exploit Cedric Gibbons' enchanting Art Deco with wit. He also displays an eye for real, human emotion within the marvellous, dreamy world. There are many highlights, including the rousing rendition of "Delia" at the beginning, Chevalier's Danilo at the Maxim's, but the most extraordinary of all is The Merry Widow Waltz, a joyous blend of gaiety and sadness. In several successive shots, Danilo and Jeanette MacDonald's Sonia are shown alone on a dance floor and then exquisitely enveloped by hordes of dancers sweeping in from all sides - then all this enchanting splendour is climaxed by Lubitsch revealing that the whole ballroom scene is the subjective dream of the lovers. What appears to be the dance of life is in fact the dance of death.

Lubitsch will later reprise the waltz in his imperishable 1943 masterpiece "Heaven Can Wait" when Don Ameche recalls it on his death bed. Not to Mention, Alfred Hitchcock in "Shadow of a Doubt" as a reminder of death and mortality.


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