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The Merry Widow (1952)

 |  Musical  |  5 September 1952 (USA)
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Operating under royal orders, a count must woo a young and wealthy widow in order to save a kingdom from bankruptcy.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Merry Widow (1952)

The Merry Widow (1952) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Una Merkel ...
Kitty Riley
Baron Popoff
King of Marshovia
Marshovian Ambassador
Police Sergeant
King Donovan ...
Robert Coote ...
Marquis De Crillon
Sujata Rubener ...
Gypsy Girl (as Sujata)
Shepard Menken ...
Ludwig Stössel ...
Major Domo (as Ludwig Stossel)


Marshovia, a small European kingdom, is on the brink of bankruptcy but the country may be saved if the wealthy American Crystal Radek, widow of a Marshovian, can be convinced to part with her money and marry the king's nephew count Danilo. Arriving to Marshovia on a visit, Crystal Radek change places with her secretary Kitty. Following them to Paris, Danilo has a hard time wooing the woman he believes is the widow after falling in love with an attractive young woman at a nightclub, the same Crystal Radek who presents herself as Fifi the chorus girl. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

5 September 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Viúva Alegre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Turner and Lamas were romantically involved during the film and were set to co-star in "Latin Lovers," but had a falling-out, and she had him replaced with Ricardo Montalban a week before shooting was to begin. See more »


Version of Kai efthymi... kai hira (1991) See more »


The Merry Widow Waltz
Music by Franz Lehár
Lyrics by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein
Sung by Fernando Lamas and Lana Turner (dubbed by Trudy Erwin)
Danced by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

MGM churns out a lackluster Technicolor musical featuring the beautiful Lana Turner
2 March 2010 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

The lovely Lana Turner stars in this rather lackluster Technicolor musical. In my opinion it is far inferior to the charming and hilarious 1934 Ernst Lubitsch version. (Both films are adaptations of an operetta, so the 1934 one isn't exactly the "original".)

To this film's credit, it's rather different from Lubitsch's version. It doesn't try to be an exact copy and can therefore be judged on its own merits. (I can't say which version of the story is most true to the original play.) This 1952 version is, for one thing, in color and features some new ballads to go with a couple familiar tunes from the earlier film. The songs, however, are largely forgettable. The storyline, about a small European kingdom sending a man to woo a wealthy widow, is a little different in this version, although the general arc is similar. (Viewers familiar with the 1934 version will notice the differences; I won't mention them here.)

This film overall did not impress me, partly because I'd been previously spoiled with the Lubitsch version, which is simultaneously a fairy tale romance and a hilarious comedy (with music, too!). This 1952 version is more of a second-tier MGM romance musical. It's really not a legitimate comedy, although it does try to be funny. But Lana Turner looks great in this good girl role (she'd played many a femme fatale) and the cast isn't bad. I can't fault the movie for trying, but it just falls a little flat for me.

THE MERRY WIDOW (1952) may be fun for musical junkies or viewers who don't know what they're missing, but I'd recommend the comedy of the 1934 version of the same story.


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