6.6/10
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Idiot's Delight (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 27 January 1939 (USA)
A group of disparate travelers are caught are thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Madame Zuleika
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Donald Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes ...
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William Edmunds ...
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Les Blondes - Shirley
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Les Blondes - Francine
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Les Blondes - Beulah
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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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the rumors, Lana Turner left the production to concentrate on her studies. See more »

Goofs

In the middle of the "Puttin' on the Ritz" performance, the Les Blondes dancer second from the viewer's left is barely in step and not doing any arm movements because she is holding her costume's right-shoulder strap which has broken. The strap is no longer broken when it cuts back to the performers after a reaction shot of Norma Shearer. See more »

Quotes

Donald Navadel: Mr. Van, I advise you to be careful how you talk.
Harry: Why? I'm an American citizen! I can say what I please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The six actresses who play Les Blondes are not credited with individual character names. Instead, they are credited using the group character name "Harry Van's Les Blondes" followed by a list of the six actresses names. This appears on a separate title card after the cast list of the other credited roles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Electrical Power (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played by the vaudeville orchestra during the acrobats' act
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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.


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