MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,575 this week

Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed  -  Biography | Drama | History  -  26 August 1938 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,869 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 9 critic

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), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Jul 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 28 Mar 2013
 
Wes
a list of 42 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Marie Antoinette (1938)

Marie Antoinette (1938) on IMDb 7.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Marie Antoinette.

User Polls

Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Young love is poisoned by a generations long feud between two noble families.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This symbol-filled story, filmed with sensuous detail and nuance, is set in Austria in the 1920s. While being treated for asthma at a country spa, an American diplomat's lonely 12-year-old ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Birkin
Stars: David Eberts, Faye Dunaway, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Hard to Get (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When spoiled young heiress Maggie Richards tries to charge some gasoline at an auto camp run by Bill Davis, he makes her work out her bill by making beds. Resolving to get even, she ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Dick Powell, Olivia de Havilland, Charles Winninger
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Marie Antoinette (TV Movie 2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: David Grubin
Stars: Philippe Altier, Antoine de Baecque, Caroline Bernard
Marie-Antoinette (TV Movie 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Directors: Francis Leclerc, Yves Simoneau
Stars: Karine Vanasse, Olivier Aubin, Marie-Eve Beaulieu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A maternity ward, staffed by sympathetic nurses, serves mothers-to-be from all walks of life. These include a happy mother of a large family; a secretly-married teenager who thinks their ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jimmy is drafted and ends up in Fred's troop on his way to Europe. Jimmy becomes vicious with his gun, wins a medal, and weds Fred's nurse girlfriend, Rose. Back home years later, Rose ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Gladys George, Franchot Tone
Flamingo Road (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy finds herself stranded in a southern town ruled by corrupt political boss Titus Semple. Lane becomes romantically involved with sheriff Fielding Carlisle, a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet
Madame X (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Thrown out of her home after her husband discovers her infidelity, a woman sinks into degradation. Twenty years later, she is charged with killing a man bent on revealing her degraded ... See full summary »

Directors: Sam Wood, Gustav Machatý
Stars: Gladys George, Warren William, John Beal
Torpedo Run (1958)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A submarine commander is forced to blow up a Japanese ship with prisoners.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Diane Brewster
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

María Antonieta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,926,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

From its initial inception up until right before the cameras started to roll, the film was designed to be shot in Technicolor. All of the sets and costumes were designed with color in mind. MGM went as far as to send the fox cape that Norma Shearer wears (to see Henry Stephenson on the night she becomes Queen) to New York to be specially dyed to match the blue of her eyes. Fearing that the addition of Technicolor would swell the already mammoth (for the time) $1.8-million budget, the production went before black-and-white cameras instead. See more »

Goofs

The stately minuet heard at the lavish ball sequence hosted by the Duc D'Orleans at Versailles, is from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, which was composed in 1787. A few moments after the Minuet ends, King Louis XV arrives. He died in 1774 and therefore, this music could not possibly have been played at such an event as it had yet to be written. See more »

Quotes

King Louis XVI: [Looking glum] I don't like that fellow.
Marie: Philippe?
King Louis XVI: He smiles too much.
Marie: [Cheerfully] Oh, but I like people to smile!
See more »

Connections

Version of Lady Oscar (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Amour Eternal Amour
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Bob Wright, Herbert Stothart and Chet Forrest
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Top Ten Reasons why "Marie Antoinette" is quite possibly the best movie ever made in Hollywood
23 March 2002 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

10. The script

Uncredited as a scriptwriter is novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. His love scenes are extremely elaborate and exquisitely structured. They also introduce innovations that have since become clichés and the hallmark of 'women pictures' everywhere.

9. The actors

Barrymore is unforgettable as the regally cranky Louis XV. Morley gives one of his best interpretations. Schildkraut plays the best two-faced villain of his entire body of work. As for Power... remember the anecdote about the reporter asking romance-writer Barbara Cartland (Lady Di's stepmother) how she could possibly have written so many romance novels before she was even married and while she was still a virgin? Her answer was: 'Oh! We didn't have sex in those days. We had Tyrone Power.'

8. The director

Van Dyke was an expert at handling large crowds and acts of God. His directing style was a compromise between time-efficiency and giving the stars leeway as long as they respected the general style of the piece. This 'honour system' seems to have encouraged the actors to do their homework and present a credible, coherent performance every time. He also got an assist here from uncredited French genius Julien Duvivier.

7. Artistic direction

What can you say about a period film that tackled the challenge of recreating Versailles in the XVIIIth century on the MGM back lot? The production values are staggering. The Gallery of Mirrors is actually longer, higher and wider than the original. The costumes tread a fine line between historical accuracy (covered shoulders and revealed cleavage) and the requirements of the movie code (exposed shoulders were tolerated but bosoms had to be covered) but still manage to convey the era and the fairy-tale quality of Marie's court. The costumes were also specially constructed to shine, glitter and shimmer on black and white film.

6. Historical accuracy

The film's script is based (in part) on Stefan Zweig's groundbreaking biography of the Queen, "Marie Antoinette, Portrait of an Ordinary Woman", which tried to create the first accurate, adult, factual but Freudian-inspired narrative of the Queen's life by using documents and correspondence that had long been overlooked or suppressed. The book was the first to reveal Louis XVI's mechanical sexual problems, which prevented his consummating the marriage during its first seven years (until a slight surgical intervention) and explained in turn the Queen's extravagant spendthrift personality, in Freudian terms, as extreme sexual frustration. This story actually makes it to the screen in a large degree. Compare this to recent biopics like "A Beautiful Mind", whose scriptwriters conveniently 'forget' essential but non-mainstream plot elements like the fact that John Nash's paranoia may have been caused or amplified by the McCarthy era persecution of homosexuals. Some historical events have been telescoped into one another in order to accommodate the general American public's limited understanding of French history and the Orléans character was used to maintain tension by representing the turncoat part of the nobility which exploited MA for their own various agendas.

5. The music

Herbert Stothart may not be a household word but he did win an Oscar for his original score to "The Wizard of Oz", based, of course in part on Harold Arlen's melodies. Besides giving Miss Gulch/the Wicked Witch her immortal theme, he is also one half of the composing team that produced the operetta "Rose Marie". Stothart shines in two respects: the approximate recreation of XVIIIth century dance music in the court scenes, emphasizing the bored grandeur of the proceedings, and the psychological music that accompanies everything from exciting chase scenes to the love scenes between Shearer and Tyrone. Note especially the use of the harpsichord in a rupture scene between Orléans and MA and the use of the viola d'amour in the garden love scene.

4. The cinematography

MA is in 'glorious black and white', but especially in the escape to Varennes sequence which has the most credible - and suspenseful - 'day for night' sequence ever filmed. The marriage scene may have inspired Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Also notable are the matte paintings, the overwhelming use of cranes to move in on particular characters in a crowd scene and the chiaroscuro of the last meeting with Fersen.

3. Detail and scope

Every scene has something special added to it in characterization, movement, rhythm, lighting, art direction, choreography (and not just in the dance scenes). The costumes could have starred in a picture by themselves.

2. The lost art of story-telling

This film was planned with intelligence and skill and was built around the principle stated by Selznick when filming GWTW: 'The secret of adapting a book to the screen is to give the impression that you are adapting a book to the screen.' Which means that many literary devices are used to give the story many interesting arcs and recurring themes. The story is well balanced in terms of spectacular action, recreation of important historical events (giving the impression of the passage of time) and intimate scenes. It is truly 'the intimate epic' that Mankiewicz's 'Cleopatra' was supposed to be. Need I add I am really dreading the Sofia Coppola version...

1. Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer is an unjustly forgotten star of the first magnitude. MA is permanent testament to her uncanny abilities. In this film she portrays the main character from the age of sixteen to her death as a prematurely aged and debilitated woman of 38, all with perfect verisimilitude, thanks to her magnificent vocal instrument and stage presence. As a fairy-queen, she makes Cate Blanchett as Galadriel (in LOTR) look like Carol Burnett's charwoman. Her virtuosity as the fated widowed Queen is all the more poignant when one realizes that at the time she was Thalberg's widow in her last husband-approved venture and that the Hollywood suits were rapidly closing in on her.


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This movie was quite interesting SusanJL
how does the 2006 version compare? beatabeatrix
This might be an inappropriate place to ask this... Jackrabbit_Croquet
costumes midwood
DVD? Marie-Antoinette
sooo good nerdymobster
Discuss Marie Antoinette (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?