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The Merry Widow
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The Merry Widow (1934) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   1,597 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ernest Vajda (screen play) and
Samson Raphaelson (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Merry Widow on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 November 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The musical that set all the standards.
Plot:
The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Let's go to Maxim's See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Maurice Chevalier ... Danilo

Jeanette MacDonald ... Sonia

Edward Everett Horton ... Ambassador
Una Merkel ... Queen
George Barbier ... King
Minna Gombell ... Marcelle
Ruth Channing ... Lulu

Sterling Holloway ... Orderly

Donald Meek ... Valet
Herman Bing ... Zizipoff
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacklyn Alexander ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Lona Andre ... Maid to Sonia (uncredited)
Henry Armetta ... Turk (uncredited)
Zita Baca ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Barbara Barondess ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
George Baxter ... Ambassador (uncredited)
Cosmo Kyrle Bellew ... Escort (uncredited)
Sheila Bromley ... Sonia's Maid (uncredited)
Tyler Brooke ... Escort (uncredited)
Kathleen Burke ... Prisoner (uncredited)
A.S. 'Pop' Byron ... Doorman (uncredited)
Richard Carle ... Defense Attorney (uncredited)
Nora Cecil ... Animal Woman (uncredited)
Shirley Chambers ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Soldier Reporting to Popoff (uncredited)
Claudia Coleman ... Wardrobe Mistress (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Waiter (uncredited)
Dorothy Dehn ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Jill Dennett ... Duchess - a Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Paul Ellis ... Dancer (uncredited)
Patricia Farley ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Christian J. Frank ... Policeman (uncredited)
Otto Fries ... Policeman (uncredited)
Dorothy Granger ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Roger Gray ... Policeman (uncredited)
Winter Hall ... Priest (uncredited)
Mary Halsey ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Jeanne Hart ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Tom Herbert ... Orthodox Priest (uncredited)
Arthur Housman ... Drunken Man (uncredited)
Eleanor Hunt ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Perry Ivins ... Waiter (uncredited)
Leonid Kinskey ... Shepherd (uncredited)
Connie La Mont ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Barbara Leonard ... Melissa (uncredited)
George J. Lewis ... Escort (uncredited)
Caryl Lincoln ... Maid to Sonia (uncredited)
Bella Loblov ... Gypsy Violinist (uncredited)
Jacques Lory ... Goatman (uncredited)

Ernst Lubitsch ... Himself - Director in Trailer (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Policeman (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
John Merkyl ... Escort (uncredited)
John 'Skins' Miller ... Drunken Man (uncredited)
Ferdinand Munier ... Jailer (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Lackey (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Soldier with Exhibit 2 (uncredited)
Albert Pollet ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Fat Lackey (uncredited)
Lucien Prival ... Adamovitch (uncredited)
Charles Requa ... Escort (uncredited)
John Roach ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jason Robards Sr. ... Arresting Officer (uncredited)
Dewey Robinson ... Fat Lackey (uncredited)
Shirley Ross ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Matty Roubert ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Jan Rubini ... Violinist (uncredited)
Hector Sarno ... Gypsy Leader (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Gabrielovitsch (uncredited)
Evelyn Selbie ... Newspaper Woman (uncredited)
Frank Sheridan ... Judge (uncredited)

Akim Tamiroff ... Manager of Maxim's (uncredited)
Lee Tinn ... Excited Chinese Man (uncredited)
Maria Troubetskoy ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Edna Waldron ... Maid to Sonia (uncredited)
Morgan Wallace ... Prosecuting Attorney (uncredited)
Luana Walters ... Maid to Sonia (uncredited)
Peggy Watts ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
Dorothy Wilson ... Maxim Girl (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ernst Lubitsch 
 
Writing credits
Ernest Vajda (screen play) and
Samson Raphaelson (screen play)

Viktor Léon (based on book and lyrics by) (as Victor Leon) and
Leo Stein (based on book and lyrics by)

Lorenz Hart  contributing writer (uncredited)
Ernst Lubitsch  contributing writer (uncredited)
Henri Meilhac  based on play "L'attaché d'Ambassade" (uncredited)

Produced by
Ernst Lubitsch .... producer (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Oliver T. Marsh (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Frances Marsh (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Makeup Department
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Lefert .... co-assistant director (uncredited)
Joseph M. Newman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Fredric Hope .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
Fred Gabourie .... set designer (uncredited)
Henry Grace .... set dresser (uncredited)
Bert Sperling .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
James Brock .... sound mixer (uncredited)
M.J. McLaughlin .... sound mixer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ted Allan .... still photographer (uncredited)
Johnny Greer .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Harry Reid .... grip (uncredited)
Art Spang .... grip (uncredited)
Lester White .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Ted Wurtenberg .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Adrian .... gowns: Miss MacDonald
Ali Hubert .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Lorenz Hart .... lyrics by
Gus Kahn .... additional lyrics
Franz Lehár .... music by (as Franz Lehar)
Richard Rodgers .... lyrics by
Herbert Stothart .... musical adaptation
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Albertina Rasch .... dances directed by
Eric Locke .... business manager (uncredited)
F.D. Raymond .... stageman (uncredited)
Bert Spencer .... waltz instructor: Jeanette MacDonald (uncredited)
Carl West .... stageman (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1935) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
MGM hired at least 500 extras for the "Merry Widow" dance number.See more »
Quotes:
King Achmet:Now tell me, if you weren't married... if you weren't my wife, could you fall for Gabrielovitsch?
Queen Dolores:If I weren't married... if I had it to do over again, and had the choice between you and Gabrielovitsch? Frankly, I'd take you.
[King Achmet laughs contentedly]
Queen Dolores:That shows you what I think of Gabrielovitsch.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Girls, Girls, GirlsSee more »

FAQ

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Let's go to Maxim's, 1 August 2005
Author: jotix100 from New York

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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