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Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, History | 26 August 1938 (USA)
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 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Countess de Noailles
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La Motte
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Toulan
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Comte de Provence (as Albert Van Dekker)
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,926,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more 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 gown and wig Norma Shearer wears in the scene where the people throw stones at her carriage is later worn by Lucille Ball in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) and by Jean Hagen in Singin' in the Rain (1952). See more »

Goofs

When Marie and Louis first wedding anniversary is announced, the bells are heard change-ringing. This requires the bells to completely be rotated by a rope wound on a wheel, and was until the 19th century a strictly English way of ringing bells. The bells shown are swinging from trunnions, in the normal French manner. See more »

Quotes

Empress Maria Theresa: Toni, France is not Austria. You must accustom yourself to new people and new ways. Count Mercy is my ambassador at Versailles. He will guide you when he can. The rest, you must trust to your husband.
Marie: I will! Of course I will! Is he handsome?
Empress Maria Theresa: There's time enough for that later. You go to bed now.
Marie: They say Versailles is too marvelous!
Empress Maria Theresa: [More firmly now] I said to bed.
Marie: Yes, mama.
Empress Maria Theresa: Versailles is no more marvelous than Vienna.
Marie: No, mama.
Empress Maria Theresa: [Kissing her cheek] Goodnight.
Marie: Oh, goodnight, mama and thank you, ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Goes to Town (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Played over the opening credits
Reprised as background music at the start of the French Revolution
Played again at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Empathy defined
20 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

It never ceases to amaze me at how completely I might be suddenly drawn into the emotional moment of a film by the power of the actor. Usually the strongest ones come suddenly, and without warning, giving you no time to put up defenses. Brando's eruptions of moods when talking to his dead wife in Last Tango in Paris is probably the most dramatic example of this. (His greatest scene ever, that I have witnessed) But before that, Norma Shearer's panic and utter emotional breakdown when the guards come to take her son from her in the prison, is overwhelming and complete. Anyone who is not genuinely moved to the core by this incredible performance, either sleeps or does not possess those human sensitivities that are torn by the loss of a child. For it is not sympathy that is evoked, but an empathy called forth by the raw, human agony of the suffering before you. Years later when I visited the actual site in Paris where that tragedy would have taken place, I experienced a time of respect and reflection such as I have never had in any other place in the world that I have visited.

This is one of the truly great films. If you want to find out how deeply someone can feel, show it to them and observe. Norma Shearer set a standard I fear has been forgotten, as evidenced by the way tinsel town hands out awards today for mediocre work pushed onto the modern consciousness by glitzy ad campaigns and self-serving accolades.


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