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Idiot's Delight (1939)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 782 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 3 critic

A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the start of WWII.

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Title: Idiot's Delight (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Irene Fellara
...
Harry Van
...
Achille Weber
...
Dr. Hugo Waldersee
...
Capt. Kirvline
...
Quillary
Laura Hope Crews ...
Madame Zuleika
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ...
'Don' Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes ...
Mr. Jimmy Cherry
Pat Paterson ...
Mrs. Cherry
William Edmunds ...
Dumptsy
Fritz Feld ...
Pittatek
Virginia Grey ...
Shirley Laughlin
Virginia Dale ...
Francine Merle
Paula Stone ...
Beulah Tremayne
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine! Norma Shearer as a "lady in tights"...who escapes from the honky-tonks into the rich world a Munitions King can give her! Clark Gable, the man in her life, whom she loved and left...and whom she finds again. See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az élet komédiása  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play doesn't illustrate the first meeting of Harry and Irene in Omaha, but has the Harry explain it in the dialogue. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Harry Van: [to the waiter] Seems to me everyone would be happier in Europe if they learned how to make a decent cup of coffee.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in MGM Greatest Moments: A Video Sampler (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Jolly Robbers Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Played by the vaudeville orchestra at the end of Madame Zuleika's performance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Last Teaming with Gable and Shearer
25 October 2003 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

"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.


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

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The two endings ziegfeldgirl1941
Irene and Achille's relationship Tim-O-T
Are both endings on the DVD from Warner Archives? pms1962
DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
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