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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 Emperor Waltz" is a surprisingly lightweight film considering it was directed by Billy Wilder. This is the same director who'd just won Oscars for "The Lost Weekend" and "Double Indemnity". And, while he also made some great comedies (such as "Some Like it Hot"), "The Emperor Waltz" is surprisingly lightweight--particularly since Wilder's Oscars came just a few years before this film. You'd have thought he would have merited a more prestigious project.
Bing Crosby stars as Virgil Smith--a traveling salesman who is trying to make a sale to Emperor Franz Josef of the Austria-Hungarian Empire!!! This is utterly ridiculous and you just have to turn off your brain to enjoy much of the film--such as the notion of his falling in love with a Countess, the Emperor and Virgil having an informal conversation as well as a dog that is receiving psychotherapy! Yes, it's all very silly and Joan Fontaine and Bing Crosby do make a hilariously mismatched couple. Yet, despite the film's many shortcomings, it IS entertaining. A bit brainless...but entertaining. Certainly no even close to either actor's best but kind of cute.
By the way, buried under all that makeup and facial prosthetics is Richard Hayden--believe it or not!
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