MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,622 this week

The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed  -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  4 November 1938 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 662 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 8 critic

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauß II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(original story), (screen play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $14.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 17 Feb 2012
 
a list of 8566 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
a list of 59 titles
created 28 Mar 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 14 May 2013
 
a list of 422 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Great Waltz" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Great Waltz (1938)

The Great Waltz (1938) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Great Waltz.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, Walter Connolly
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer
Ana-ta-han (1953)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Akemi Negishi, Tadashi Suganuma, Kisaburo Sawamura
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Georgi has attempted suicide in reaction to an earlier love affair. Now that Dr. Decker has married her he sets out to get her to love him. To make enough to give her what she wants he ... See full summary »

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Frank Borzage, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, Verree Teasdale
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Charming love story set on the Erie Canal in the mid-19th Century. A farmer works on the canal to earn money to buy a farm. He meets a cook on a canal boat, but she can't even consider ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Henry Fonda, Charles Bickford
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An anthology of three loosely connected occult tales, with ironic and romantic twists.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, Barbara Stanwyck
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Aspiring actress Louise Muban attends the prestigious Paris School of Drama during the day and works at a dreary factory assembling gas meters at night. She daydreams and "acts" her way ... See full summary »

Director: Robert B. Sinclair
Stars: Luise Rainer, Paulette Goddard, Alan Marshal
Big City (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her. The mayor is speaker at a boxers' banquet where Joe pleads for... See full summary »

Directors: Frank Borzage, George B. Seitz
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Luise Rainer, Charley Grapewin
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Auustrian prince flees his homeland when the Nazis take over and settles in London. He meets a beautiful Austrian émigré who makes him realize his mistake in leaving. He makes a deal ... See full summary »

Directors: James Whale, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: George Brent, Martha Scott, Paul Lukas
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Those five are unemployed penniless workers. Together they win 100,000 Francs with the national lottery. Instead of sharing the money, they buy a ruin and build an open-air cafe. But ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Jean Gabin, Charles Vanel, Raymond Aimos
Escapade (1935)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Aged penniless actors are living in a old people's home. They always talk about their past glory or failures. One day Raphael Saint-Clair comes; he has been a famous actor and had a lot of ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Victor Francen, Michel Simon, Louis Jouvet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Fernand Gravey ...
Johann Strauss (as Fernand Gravet)
Miliza Korjus ...
...
Hofbauer
...
Count Hohenfried
Curt Bois ...
Kienzl
Leonid Kinskey ...
Dudelman
Al Shean ...
Cellist
Minna Gombell ...
Mrs. Hofbauer
George Houston ...
Schiller
Bert Roach ...
Vogelhuber
Greta Meyer ...
Mrs. Vogelhuber
Herman Bing ...
Dommayer
Alma Kruger ...
Mrs. Strauss
...
Franz Josef
Edit

Storyline

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauß II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. After he is fired from his clerical bank job because of his preoccupation with composing, he decides to follow his passion and form an orchestra. After some famed opera singers, including Carla Donner, hear his music, they expose Schani's music to the masses, to royalty and to music publisher Julius Hofbauer. As such, Schani becomes the toast of Vienna. With his new found musical fame, Schani's life, which includes his work in the European Revolutions, changes. He becomes torn for his love for his loving and faithful wife Poldi Vogelhuber and his more emotionally passionate but somewhat destructive love for Carla Donner, who herself is involved with Count Anton Hohenfried. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your beating heart,your pounding pulse will tell you it's the most exciting musical love story ever told!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of Johann Strauss  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Toscha Seidel, the Russian virtuoso violinist, was hired especially to dub the solos on the soundtrack for Johann Strauß (Fernand Gravey) and began a new career working as a concert master at MGM and other studios. See more »

Quotes

Johann 'Schani' Strauss II: And the earth, and the blood of life itself is vanity.
See more »


Soundtracks

Revolutionary March
(1848) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by the revolutionaries
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Best MacDonald-Eddy Musical That Jeanette And Nelson Never Made.
16 January 2006 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

If there is a genre in which even die-hard contemporary fans of old movies seldom care to delve, it is the once-popular musical operetta. I have steeled myself to watch several Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy movies, and have occasionally been pleasantly surprised, as in my first viewing of ROSE MARIE. I recently caught THE GREAT WALTZ on TCM as part of a festival of Luise Rainer movies, and despite myself I was won over by the skill of the director as well as the opulence of the production.

Miss Rainer's charms elude me. She was pretty and not a bad actress by any means and yet the clammy, self-congratulatory air of masochism and eye-brimming sadness of each of her performances is hard to take. Even when you have to admit that she isn't bad in a given scene, she is insufferable, sometimes almost unwatchable. And she had her most cringing, masochistic and melodramatic role in this picture as the long-suffering wife of a faithless Strauss as played by a puffy Fernand Gravey.

It is Gravey and Miliza Korjus that are the real stars of the film, and this is curious to a modern viewer since neither had the classic good looks of movie stars of the period. What they did have was a stars' confidence and because of the considerable imagination of Julien Duvivier, you believe them as a romantic couple and as stars intoxicated with their own love and talent.

But what is impressive about THE GREAT WALTZ is the way Duvivier transforms potentially dull and static numbers into surreal flights of fantasy. He isn't afraid to be delirious or silly so a few set-pieces unexpectedly catch your attention, make you laugh and then impress you with their theatricality and verve. Such is the orgasmic waltz sequence that takes place in and around a bandstand in the Vienna Woods in which Korjus decisively seduces Gravey. It is Duvivier's attention to detail that makes it: the way Korjus jackknifes to the ground in Gravey's arms and removes her organdy picture hat, the gorgeous line of trees hung with Japanese lanterns on a moonlit set, the way she staggers and tumbles onto the grass after her trilling climax, inviting greater liberties (despite the all-girl orchestra looking on), all of these images make the scene breathless, ludicrous, memorable.

And just because we have blessedly forgotten Strauss's dreary wife, Duvivier concocts a spectacular scene for Rainer too: publicly confronted by her husband's faithlessness, she hurriedly dresses in silks and crinolines determined to kill herself or someone else on the night of his opera debut. Sweeping out of their huge house and down their long staircase to the strains of a waltz, sweeping into a baroque opera house and up an even longer set of steps, she stops, awestruck while several jump cuts reveal the enormity and grandeur of the theatre, the rapt audience and the triumph of her rival, who defiantly swirls into a lavish stage waltz. In contrast, Rainer's smiling-through-tears routine afterward seems an anti-climax, though it is an admirable piece of showmanship and hugely entertaining despite a shrill note of barely controlled hysteria she has cultivated throughout the sequence. Or maybe because of it. Rainer's few strengths as an actress are utterly linked to her considerable weaknesses.

So I'm now not surprised to learn of this film's great success at the time, though I do wonder why the Mac-Eddy productions never got as creative a craftsman as Duvivier to plan and film their pictures. If he had they might be more widely admired today beyond the group of fast-ageing fans who first loved them in the '30s. But maybe nothing can revive interest in this most unfashionable of movie genres.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
through the woods chrislyons12
How accurate? eronavbj-1
watching it Monday 1/12/2009 rwendler939-1
What's the Music? murray-48
Discuss The Great Waltz (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?