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The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, Music | 4 November 1938 (USA)
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) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Johann Strauss (as Fernand Gravet)
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Count Hohenfried
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Kienzl
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Dudelman
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Cellist
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Mrs. Hofbauer
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Vogelhuber
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Mrs. Vogelhuber
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Dommayer
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Mrs. Strauss
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of Johann Strauss  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Emperor Franz Josef: Tell me, is there still anything about me that annoys you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.13 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
(1874) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung at the opera by Miliza Korjus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Great Waltz is Wunderbar
2 January 2005 | by (Gulf Breeze, Florida) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the number one Hollywood musical film of all time. "Gorgeous Korjus" was coined and used by Louis B. Mayer to promote her film career, which understandably would be short. Not only is she gorgeous in GW but turns in an excellent acting performance which drew an academy award nomination. Her acting role rivals or exceeds consummate actress and two-time academy award winner, Luise Reiner. Displaying the temperament of a real primadonna, Miss Korjus turns on her good and bad sides when you least expect it. Vocal waltzes are extremely difficult to sing and Korjus with her coloratura soprano does admirably. Frenchman Fernand Gravet is believable as Strauss (as far as the film is believable) and ably supported by the likes of Lionel Atwill and Hugh Herbert along with many others, few of whom have a Teutonic accent, but we still have a romantic view of old Vienna. It is not a factual biography, which is stated at the beginning of the film, but there are elements of truth in the composite of Strauss the Elder and Strauss the younger as performed by Gravet (Strauss the Younger was a womanizer and while married actually had a liaison with an opera singer, among others). The Vienna Woods segment is pure joy. Strauss playing Tales from the Vienna Woods on his violin and Carla Donner singing in accompaniment's, their whirling dancing, ending up on the ground, where Strauss goes no further and wistfully admits "Carla, I'm married." The audience, I think, expects a tantrum from Donner at this revelation, but she gracefully takes it in stride and fools us once again with her unpredictability! This scene, to me, was the high point of an exceptional film of the type we shall never see again.


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