Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »
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William A. Seiter
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>
Billy Wilder had never forgotten his native country and Bing Crosby could have been the director himself using a time machine to visit Frances -Josef.
An old old emperor soon to plunge his country into WW1.An old emperor who had lost his wife (the famous Sissi)and his only son (it's no coincidence if in "Sunset Blvd" Von Stroheim -who claimed to be the son of one of the empress's lady in waiting- was called MAX -name of the emperor's brother,killed by the Mexicans - VON MAYERLING -the place where the Kronprinz died.)
But "Waltz" is the only work by the great director which takes place in Austria;a chocolate box Austria ,not very different from that depicted by Ernest Marischka' s "Sissi saga" (aka "forever my love" )complete with yodeling and Tirolians in their folk costumes .
In several respects ,it is a "political movie" :American is the land of democracy where there are supposedly no more classes ,and where a prince can marry a shepherd girl;it's the land of progress which provides the archaic Austria with gramophones .(One should notice that the emperor was already using a phonograph before 1898,for her wife bought "rollers" for him on the eve of her death);it's the land where you can call an emperor "the old boy" ;when his work became subtler,Wilder 's bite did not spare the Americans (see" one two three" or "Avanti") "Waltz" is twice a love story:love between an American who makes 25 dollars a week and a chic countess;between two dogs ,a mongrel and a lady dog with a pedigree (some kind of "Lady and the tramp" so to speak) Frances -Josef may seem reluctant but at the time he had already seen worse;his nephew ,Francis Ferdinand ,the new Kronprinz ,had married an obscure countess Sophie Chotek,and one of his sisters-in-law was an actress !
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