The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors:

(as W.S. Van Dyke II), (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry Stephenson ...
Cora Witherspoon ...
Barnett Parker ...
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Leonard Penn ...
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Comte de Provence (as Albert Van Dekker)
Alma Kruger ...
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Storyline

The life of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) from betrothal and marriage in 1770 to her beheading. At first, she's a Hapsburg teenager isolated in France, living a virgin's life in the household of the Dauphin, a shy solitary man who would like to be a locksmith. Marie discovers high society, with the help of Orleans and her brothers-in-law. Her foolishness is at its height when she meets a Swedish count, Axel de Fersen. He helps her see her fecklessness. In the second half of the film, she avoids an annulment, becomes queen, bears children, and is a responsible ruler. The affair of the necklace and the general poverty of France feed revolution. She faces death with dignity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

María Antonieta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,926,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original road show print including entry, intermission and exit music)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film credits Louis XV as uttering the famous quip, "after me, the deluge" referring to the upcoming chaos of the French Revolution. However, it is Madame de Pompadour, his most celebrated mistress, who is historically credited to have made this comment to Louis XV. France played a disastrous role in the Seven Years' War, which among other loses, included losing Canadian territory to the much hated British. But it was after the humiliating Prussian defeat in the Battle of Rossbach that caused Pompadour to comfort the king by saying to him, "after us, the deluge" as France emerged from the war diminished and virtually bankrupt and greatly reduced the king's popularity. See more »

Goofs

In the lavish ball sequence at Versailles that appears to take place in the famous Hall of Mirrors, King Louis XV (and later, Mme du Pompadour) arrives by descending a huge flight of stairs. Yet the real Hall of Mirrors has no stairs, at either end. See more »

Quotes

Count Axel de Fersen: When I'm gone you'll be glad that I didn't stand in the path of your destiny making you less than you were meant to be.
Marie: And that other kingdom? The love, the youth, the happiness we might have had... what of that?
Count Axel de Fersen: We shall dream of it more tenderly because we didn't destroy it.
Marie: Shall I never see you again?
Count Axel de Fersen: If you need me I shall come to you.
Marie: [Through tears] I shall always need you.
Count Axel de Fersen: And if I should ask you, "Was it well done?", you'll tell me, "It was well done."
Marie: Take me in your arms again.
[...]
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Connections

Version of Queen's Necklace (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Amour Eternal Amour
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Bob Wright, Herbert Stothart and Chet Forrest
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User Reviews

One of the best and most sumptuous film biographies of all time.
14 April 1999 | by (Glendale, California) – See all my reviews

This film boasts a number of wonderful performances and is a great example of film acting in the thirties and the power of the studios. Robert Morley steals the show as Louis XVI, but equally fine are John Barrymore as the dying Louis XV, Gladys George as Madame du Barry, Joseph Schildkraut as the Duke of Orleans and a whole slew of wonderful character actors who enlivened even the smallest role. Norma Shearer admirably tackles the nearly impossible task of portraying the life of Marie Antoinette from a young girl to a broken woman on her way to the guillotine. In the style of the time, the film has a tendency toward histrionics but for the viewer with patience the overall effect is fascinating. Of special interest to students of art direction. The sets and costumes are incredible.


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