Ruby falls in love with small-time con man Eddie. During a botched blackmail scheme, Eddie accidentally kills the man they were setting up. Eddie takes off and Ruby is sent to a reformatory for two years.
When song-and-dance man Harry Van returns from World War I, he finds work hard to come by. His greatest success comes as straight man in a phony vaudeville mind-reading act with the tipsy Madame Zulieka. While on tour in Omaha he meets acrobat Irene Fellara, and they have a brief romance. Twenty years later while Harry is on tour in Europe with a troupe of leggy blonde dancers, his train is stopped at the Swiss border and he finds himself stranded in the Alps in anticipation of World War II hostilities. Harry and his chorines take refuge in an Alpine hotel with a group of disparate travelers who are also marooned there. Among them are an American pacifist, British newlyweds, a cancer researcher, a German munitions manufacturer, and a beautiful blonde expatriate Russian aristocrat who looks suspiciously like the Irene of two decades earlier. Written by
This film was adapted by Robert E. Sherwood from his own Pulitzer Prize winning play. The original Broadway production, starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, opened at the Shubert Theatre in New York on Mar. 24, 1936 and ran for 300 performances. See more »
During the air battle in the ending shot for the international market the background film is clearly looped since the same twin-tailed airplane (similar to an American P-38) flies past the window 8 times. See more »
The actresses who play "Les Blondes" are not credited individually; they are given the credit "Harry Van's 'Les Blondes'......Themselves", similar to the manner in which the "Munchkins" were credited in "The Wizard of Oz", another film released that year by M-G-M. See more »
"Idiot's Delight" is a good version of the play. Clark Gable and Norma Shearer do their roles with justice. This is their best and last movie together. Today, the movie may seem dated, but it wasn't in 1939.
Hollywood made several movies about fascism. Behind the story of a song and dance man (Clark Gable) with his troupe of blond beauties traveling throughout Europe, lies a story of countries fighting over fascism.
Like to make a CORRECTION: On my critique of "Escape", I said there were two endings to the movie, I was wrong. I was thinking of this movie. On "Idiot's Delight", they made two endings: one for America and one for the international market (they were already fighting in the pre-WWII war). The international ending makes more sense. You can see the movie with both endings on Turner Classic Movies.
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