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
A lesser-known 'Irving Berlin (I)' ballad from his 1950 stage score went missing from the film: "Once Upon a Time Today," written for the Kenneth Gibson character and performed on Broadway by Russell Nype. See more »
When will you arrive at your post?
I'm not sure. Hey, boss, where the heck is Lichtenburg?
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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: "Call..me..madam!" See more »
There's been a long wait to revisit the delights of this brassy film recreation of a big Broadway hit, but now we can once again enjoy it, fairly bursting from the screen, with its several lively production numbers, John DeCuir's classy production design, Irene Sharaff's flattering costumes, plus Robert Alton's absolutely first-rate choreography. Check out Vera-Ellen and an ultra-well-rehearsed chorus of dancers in "The Orcarina" number, as well as her amazing dance duets with Donald O'Connor, who smoothly displays his exceptional terpsichorean ability, so well showcased two years earlier in MGM's "Singin' in the Rain." George Sanders's singing is a wonderful surprise, holding his own with leather-lunged Madame Merman, who had triumphed on Broadway with this votive offering to her stardom, so cleverly crafted by Irving Berlin. Alfred Newman's Oscar for his endlessly inventive musical direction was more than well-deserved. For anyone who thinks that M-G-M was the only studio to adequately mount a film musical, this one might convince fans of this genre otherwise. (The DVD, by the way, is a very nice transfer, and boasts a quite informative commentary by "Musical Film Scholar" Miles Kreuger.)
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