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Idiot's Delight (1939)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 819 users  
Reviews: 35 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:
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...
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...
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Laura Hope Crews ...
Madame Zuleika
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ...
'Don' Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes ...
Pat Paterson ...
William Edmunds ...
Fritz Feld ...
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:

The Biggest Thrill They Ever Gave You! Norma and Clark together in the romance of a "ham" song-and-dance man and a "red-headed liar from Omaha." See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

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

This was the only film in which Clark Gable performed a dance number. He spent 6 weeks rehearsing the steps with the dance director, George King, and practicing at home with his wife, Carole Lombard. Because of his fear of messing it up during a take, the set was closed during the filming of this sequence. 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

Irene Fellara: Harry, do you realize the whole world has gone to war? The whole world!
Harry Van: I realize it, but don't ask me why. I've stopped trying to figure it out.
Irene Fellara: I know why it is. It's just to kill us - you and me. Because we are the little people. And for us, the deadliest weapons are the most merciful.
Harry Van: Easy...
Irene Fellara: I've never cared before, but now I want to live.
Harry Van: So do I, but if we don't, let's hope we make a fast exit.
Irene Fellara: Then together.
Harry Van: [explosion from a large bomb nearby] Nice try buddy, but you muffed it!
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 The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Smiles
(uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Words by J. Will Callahan
Played when the truck has to stop for the parade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
well worth seeing because it's so ODD!
15 July 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is perhaps the weirdest Clark Gable film. First, it is an odd anti-war film that came out just BEFORE all the anti-fascist films of the early 40's and it's an amazing contrast to them. Second, it features Gable as a song and dance man!! Why they worked so hard to have him dance, I wouldn't know--the studio could have always rented the services of either Jimmy Cagney or George Raft or anyone of a number of other actors who already knew how to dance. Third, the over the top and bizarre role played by Norma Shearer--it's rather silly and reminiscent of Garbo. So, overall is it a good film? Well, it's decent but not great. Some may find it a little silly, but for those who love the Golden Age of Hollywood, this is a must-see.


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The two endings ziegfeldgirl1941
Are both endings on the DVD from Warner Archives? pms1962
DVD now available directly from Warner's webpage! simonhowson
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