The Red Danube (1949)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  14 October 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 369 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mother Superior ('Mother Auxilia')
Major John 'Twingo' McPhimister
Audrey Quail
Olga Alexandrova / Maria Buhlen
Colonel Piniev
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Colonel Humphrey 'Blinker' Omicron
Melville Cooper ...
Private David Moonlight
Robert Coote ...
Brigadier C.M.V. Catlock
The General
Roman Toporow ...
2nd Lt. Maxim Omansky
Kasia Orzazewski ...
Sister Kasmira
Tamara Shayne ...
Helena Nagard
Konstantin Shayne ...
Professor Serge Bruloff
Janine Perreau ...


Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate citizens of the Soviet Union, many of whom prefer not to return to their home country. Billeted in the convent run by Mother Auxilia, Nicobar, and his military aides Major John 'Twingo' McPhimister and Audrey Quail, become involved in the plight of a young ballerina who is trying to avoid being returned to Moscow. Nicobar's sense of duty is tested as he sees first hand the plight of the people he is helping return to the Soviet Union; his lack of religious faith is also shaken by his contact with the Mother Superior. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beautiful Maria...the four lives that touched hers were never the same again!


Drama | Romance | War


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Case of Maria Buhlen  »

Box Office


$1,961,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 19, 1951 with Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford and Janet Leigh reprising their film roles. See more »


Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar: [to Brigadier Catlock, after refusing to return any more displaced Russian citizens back to the Soviet Union] One of our reasons for fighting this war was to liberate people from tyranny.
See more »


References Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) See more »


An der schönen, blauen Donau, Op. 314 (On the Beautiful Blue Danube)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played at the beginning of the Vienna segment
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User Reviews

Really thoughtful and worthwhile film
6 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I found the film captivating. It addresses subjects such as faith and morality, and the conflict between being both a soldier and a human being. It gives no easy answers. It presents a piece of history rarely shown in film, and attempts to side-step making everything black and white. Yet The Red Danube is, foremost, good entertainment, a tale of love in the midst of war. Focusing on entertainment is necessary in the entertainment business, and the film does it well, with a few gratifying twists, too. Walter Pigeon and Ethel Barrymore are their grandest dignified selves. Sometimes its nice to be able to be reminded what that is. Interesting to note that Ethel Barrymore was seventy years old when making this film.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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