Call Me Madam (1953)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  April 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 854 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 14 critic

Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy.



(musical "Call Me Madam"), (musical "Call Me Madam"), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Sally Adams
Kenneth Gibson
General Cosmo Constantine
Pemberton Maxwell
Helmut Dantine ...
Prince Hugo
Walter Slezak ...
August Tantinnin
Steven Geray ...
Prime Minister Sebastian
Ludwig Stössel ...
Grand Duke Otto (as Ludwig Stossel)
Grand Duchess Sophie
Charles Dingle ...
Sen. Brockway
Emory Parnell ...
Sen. Charlie Gallagher
Percy Helton ...
Sen. Wilkins


Boisterous, fun-loving, and popular Washington D.C. hostess Sally Adams is appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg, Europe's smallest country. In Lichtenburg, the Duke and Duchess are negotiating a political marriage for their niece, Princess Maria in exchange for a substantial dowry. However, the country is desperate for funds, and turns to the inexperienced ambassador for a much needed U.S. loan. Sally refuses to talk money, that is, until she meets the ultra charming Gen. Cosmo Constantine. Meanwhile, Sally's press attaché Kenneth Gibson falls head over heels for Princess Maria. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Before pre-recording the song "You're Just in Love", Donald O'Connor felt that a better result would be achieved if he sang it with Ethel Merman in a recording studio accompanied by the orchestra. Musical Director Alfred Newman agreed and let them sing together. It turned out that Merman's legendary loud singing voice was too deafening for O'Connor. In the end, they had to record the song with O'Connor in an isolation booth. When filming the musical number accompanied by the pre-recorded playback, O'Connor had to wear ear plugs. See more »


Cosmo Constantine: You are the most American American I have ever met.
Sally Adams: That's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, as each word in the title appears onscreen, we hear, but do not see, Ethel Merman exclaiming, in a demanding tone of voice: "!" See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Without Make-Up (1963) See more »


Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Sung by offscreen chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

The Ultimate Ethel Merman Performance in a Movie
25 February 2004 | by (Cincinnati, Ohio) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing Call Me Madam as a teenager when it first came out as a movie in 1953. There was the great Ethel Merman on the screen. I had never heard of her before as to who she was, but I saw the movie so many times that it is still very vivid in my mind. Always yelling "Hello Harry" every time the phone rang, when Billy De Wolfe tried to tell her that one of his jobs was to tell her how to dress, and she looked at him in his outfit with striped pants and quipped, "You're going to tell me how to dress? Your coat and pants don't even match!" But, the surprise of the movie was George Sanders singing especially his song "Marrying for Love". Who would have known that he had such a rich baritone voice. This was probably Vera Ellen's best movie including "Three Little Words" with Fred Astaire. She and Donald O'Connor were perfect in their dance numbers together. Ethel Merman's rendition of "The International Rag" was brassy and sassy the way only Ethel Merman could deliver it with the end of the song singing, "Oh, oh! Wiggle your personality!" and someone in the audience said, "She sure can wiggle it; can't she?" It was if as soon as you sat down to watch this wonderful musical, it was time to leave the theater. I understand that the film is finally going to be released on Video. It's about time. I'll buy one copy to look at and another to keep just in case. Wonderful entertainment. One of the best!

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