During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Traveling Salesman Virgil Smith wants to sell his Grammophones in pre-WWI Austria. To enhance this, he especially wants to sell one to Emperor Franz Joseph, but at first the Austrian palace guards think he is carrying a bomb. He meets the Countess Johanna von Stolzenberg-Stolzenberg and after the usual misunderstandings, falls in love with her, this is especially assisted by his dog Buttons. But the relation between a Countess and an ordinary U.S. citizen cannot work in Austria, that is the Emperor's opinion. Is he wrong ? Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
The film takes place in the Alps but was actually filmed at Jasper National Park in Canada. Billy Wilder spent $20,000 to have pine trees sent from California and planted on location because he was not satisfied with the Canadian pine trees; he also planted 4,000 daisies that were painted blue because he felt white daisies did not photograph well. See more »
I am not narrow-minded! I could even forgive him being an American if he belonged to one of those Vander, Astor, uh, Rocker, uh, families. But a Mr. Smith?
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In Austria, the American traveling salesman Virgil Smith (Bing Crosby) arrives in the palace of Emperor Franz-Joseph I (Richard Haydn) with his mongrel dog Button expecting to sell one gramophone to him to promote his sales in the country. However, the guards believe he has a time-bomb and he does not succeed in his intent. When the dog Sheherazade of the widowed Countess Johanna Franziska von Stolzenberg-Stolzenberg (Joan Fontaine) bites Button, Virgil visits her and sooner he falls in love for Johanna and Button for Sheherazade that is promised to breed with the Emperor's dog. When Virgil asks permission to marry Johanna to the Emperor, the nobleman exposes to the salesman that their difference of social classes would doom their marriage and offers a business to Virgil.
"The Emperor Waltz" is a delightful and naive romance of Billy Wilder, with parallel human and canine love stories like the dogs were the alter-egos of their owners. The art direction and the set decoration are amazing, and the scene of the ball is awesome. Joan Fontaine is extremely beautiful and shows a great chemistry with Bing Crosby, but the dog Button steals the movie and is responsible for the funniest moments. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "A Valsa do Imperador" ("The Emperor Waltz")
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