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The Merry Widow (1934)

Passed | | Musical, Comedy, Romance | 2 November 1934 (USA)
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) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

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Angel (1937)
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate. While there, she becomes friendly with Adam Belinski, a charming Czech refugee. She... See full summary »

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Monte Carlo (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Jack Buchanan, Claud Allister
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The daughter of a penniless marquis teaches her multi-millionaire fiancé a lesson, after learning he has had 7 previous wives.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, Edward Everett Horton
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship.

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Stars: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins
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Against her better judgement, happily married Jill Baker is persuaded to see a popular psychoanalyst about her psychosomatic hiccups. Soon, she's disillusioned about husband Larry; and one ... See full summary »

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Stars: Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
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Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
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A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

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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
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Queen
...
King
...
Marcelle
Ruth Channing ...
Lulu
...
Orderly
...
Valet
...
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

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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

As he had done at Paramount, Ernst Lubitsch continued to play practical jokes on Jeanette MacDonald. During one romantic musical number, he had left in her view on the set a Hollywood Reporter story announcing that MGM had imported English soprano Evelyn Laye as a threat to her. The star ran from the soundstage in tears. See more »

Quotes

[Presenting a dog to the courtroom]
Prosecuting Attorney: Exhibit 2, please. Now, generals of the jury, I will prove with this exhibit...
Defense Attorney: Your honor, I object! I object to having this witness called an exhibit!
Prosecuting Attorney: She IS an exhibit!
Defense Attorney: He's a witness!
Prosecuting Attorney: She is not!
Defense Attorney: He is!
Judge: Objection sustained. From now on, the prosecution will refer to Exhibit #2 as Witness #1.
See more »

Connections

Version of La veuve joyeuse (1997) 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

 
Let's go to Maxim's
1 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The great Ernst Lubitsch clearly understood the material in which "The Merry Widow" was based. Being European himself, he clearly identified with this delightful Franz Lehar operetta that had been charming audiences throughout the years. Mr. Lubitsch places the action in the small country of Marshovia, in central Europe. The director had an eye for the great spectacle he presents for us. Mr. Lubitsch greatest achievement is that he seems to have his camera waltzing all the time. The result is an amazing triumph for MGM.

In fact, the glorious sets one admires in the film are breathtaking. For a film made in 1934, the art directors, Cedric Gibbons and Gabriel Scognamillo recreate the royal palace of Marshovia in amazing detail, as well as the Paris scenes with an elegance and good taste that shows the resources of the studio that didn't spare anything. The black and white cinematography of Oliver Marsh enhances the Lubitsch style. Adrian's gowns look luxurious and the editing of the film by Francis Marsh give the film continuity without ever making the action appear forced or staged.

The pairing of Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald was an match that seems to have been made in haven. Both actors are a delight to see. Mr. Chevalier with his French accent and mannerisms make his Count Danilo the charmer he is. The beautiful Ms. MacDonald is mysterious at first, when we meet her, then as she has fallen in love, changes her attitude and realizes Danilo is the man for her.

The secondary roles are played with great panache by the genial Edward Everett Horton, who as the ambassador to Paris, is under orders to have Sonia, the wealthy woman, accept Danilo and return to Marshovia with all her money. George Barber plays the King Achmed and the incomparable Una Merkel is seen as Queen Dolores.

The Merry Widow waltz received a great production number in which about a hundred couples are seen dancing around Sonia and Danilo, first in white tuxedos and gowns and later in black ones. Later all the couples are mixed together creating such a rich moment. By today's standards that sequence couldn't have been done, or it must have cost a fortune, or perhaps would have digitally mastered in order not to pay dancers to appear dancing in the movie.

Let's just be thankful there was a man with a vision, Ernst Lubitsch, and let's be grateful for his vision and his legacy.


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