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The Emperor Waltz (1948)

 -  Comedy | Musical | Romance  -  2 July 1948 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 914 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 5 critic

A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Roland Culver ...
Lucile Watson ...
...
Harold Vermilyea ...
Sig Ruman ...
Julia Dean ...
Bert Prival ...
Alma Macrorie ...
Inn Proprietress
Roberta Jonay ...
Chambermaid
John Goldsworthy ...
Obersthofmeister
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Paramount's Crowning Entertainment Achievement! Bing's Best Songs!


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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 July 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Valsa do Imperador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,070,248 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 26, 1949 with Bing Crosby reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Baron Holenia: [optimistically] In this, our moment of sorrow, I venture to offer some consolation. There will be other days. She'll give us some puppies yet.
Dr. Zwieback: Yes, that's the way to look at it. Come spring and we can count on another litter.
Emperor Franz-Josef: [sadly] Hmmm... the question is - can I count on another spring?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edith Head: The Paramount Years (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Yourself a Phonograph
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
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User Reviews

 
Re-vamping the "White Horse Inn" for Hollywood?
19 March 2009 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I find it amazing, that Wilder - 12 years after the Broadway success of Erik Charell's WHITE HORSE INN, and 18 years after the Berlin premiere of the show by the same creative team (a version Wilder certainly saw, since it was the talk of the town he lived in at the time) - re-uses many of the elements that made that revue-operetta such a smash hit: those pop art Tirolean costumes and villages, the lake, the jodels, the dancers in Lederhosen and Dirndl... some of the village scenes and costumes actually look, as if Wilder was using the original operetta-designs by Ernst Stern. He even quotes original operetta music (by Lehár, instead of Ralph Benatzky, just to mislead the viewer - and maybe avoid copyright problems.) Also, the basic idea of the Charell/Hans Müller operetta is re-used here: a man from a different culture ends up in the Alps and has to cope with a totally different 'Austrian' way of life. In the original it's the Berlin industrialist Giesecke, in the movie it's Bing Crosby as the American salesman. In both cases, the clash of cultures is delightful to watch and makes for some hilariously comic scenes. Perhaps, in the movie, Crosby is not the ideal 'ironic' actor needed for a story of this kind... (he plays the story rather 'straight'). Still, Wilder makes sure the viewer understands that it is all a gigantic joke. (Actually, he even shows the Austrian Kaiser as a silly old fool, exactly like in the operetta.) It would be interesting to analyze show and film. Even though theater historians prefer to ignore films, and film historians prefer to ignore theater productions. But, as Richard Norton pointed out in his essay on the career of WHITE HORSE INN in the English speaking world, Warner Brothers bought the rights for a film version of the operetta and thought of casting Al Jolson, Maurice Chevalier, Eddie Cantor or Jack Okie in the movie. Just imagine what a movie it would/could have been with Bing Crosby as the suave lead, and with Billy Wilder directing. Perhaps WHITE HORSE INN never made it to Hollywood, but this film is the closest the operetta ever got to being turned into a big, splashy, wonderful, colorful and very, very funny film. Definitely worth watching - and copying, for anyone who wants to put on WHITE HORSE INN on stage. Wilder know how to make these kind of stories sparkle and shine. Visually and musically.


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