IMDb > Call Me Madam (1953)
Call Me Madam
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Call Me Madam (1953) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   784 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Russel Crouse (musical "Call Me Madam")
Howard Lindsay (musical "Call Me Madam")
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Call Me Madam on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
April 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Call Her MERMAN! See more (44 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ethel Merman ... Sally Adams

Donald O'Connor ... Kenneth Gibson

Vera-Ellen ... Princess Maria

George Sanders ... General Cosmo Constantine

Billy De Wolfe ... Pemberton Maxwell
Helmut Dantine ... Prince Hugo
Walter Slezak ... August Tantinnin
Steven Geray ... Prime Minister Sebastian
Ludwig Stössel ... Grand Duke Otto (as Ludwig Stossel)

Lilia Skala ... Grand Duchess Sophie
Charles Dingle ... Sen. Brockway
Emory Parnell ... Sen. Charlie Gallagher
Percy Helton ... Sen. Wilkins
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hannelore Axman ... Telephone Switchboard Operator (uncredited)
Leon Belasco ... Leader (uncredited)
Oscar Beregi Sr. ... Chamberlain (uncredited)
Julio Bonini ... Cabinet Minister (uncredited)
John Brascia ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Soldier (uncredited)

George Chakiris ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)

Barrie Chase ... Dancer in The Ocarina (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Soldier (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Guest at Sally's Party (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Townsman at Fair (uncredited)
Charles J. Conrad ... Newspaper Reporter (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Guest at Sally's Party (uncredited)
Don Dillaway ... Newspaper Reporter (uncredited)
Dante DiPaolo ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)
Johnny Downs ... Cameraman (uncredited)
Fritz Feld ... Hat Clerk (uncredited)
Eddie Firestone ... Reporter (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Carnival Guest in Box (uncredited)
Richard Garrick ... Supreme Court Justice (uncredited)
Frank Gerstle ... Newspaper Reporter (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Announcer at Sally's Party (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Townsman at Fair (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Townsman at Fair (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Walter Woolf King ... Secretary of State (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Sidney Marion ... Beer Garden Proprietor (uncredited)
Matt Mattox ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)
Renny McEvoy ... First G.I. (uncredited)
Lal Chand Mehra ... Minister from Magrador (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Rudolph (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Roger Neury ... Doorman at Ball (uncredited)

Julie Newmar ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Doorman at Ball (uncredited)
Nestor Paiva ... Miccoli (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Headwaiter at Sally's Party (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Captain of Equerries (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Olan Soule ... Clerk (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Ball Extra (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Extra in Newsreel (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Reporter (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Extra in Newsreel (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... Music Clerk (uncredited)

John Wengraf ... Ronchin (uncredited)
Marc Wilder ... Dancer in 'The Ocarina' Number (uncredited)
Mack Williams ... Burton - Sally's Butler (uncredited)
Allen Wood ... Cameraman (uncredited)
William Yetter Sr. ... Equerry (uncredited)

Directed by
Walter Lang 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Russel Crouse  musical "Call Me Madam"
Howard Lindsay  musical "Call Me Madam"
Arthur Sheekman  screenplay

Produced by
Sol C. Siegel .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert L. Simpson  (as Robert Simpson)
 
Art Direction by
John DeCuir  (as John De Cuir)
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
 
Set Decoration by
Walter M. Scott 
 
Costume Design by
Irene Sharaff 
 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal Klein .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
 
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
Matthew Yuricich .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Robert Alton .... dances and musical numbers staged by
Ken Darby .... vocal director
Earle Hagen .... orchestrator
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
Conrad Gozzo .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Carol Richards .... singing voice: Vera-Ellen (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Leonard Doss .... technicolor color consultant
Leland Hayward .... stage producer
Jerry Bryan .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
114 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
While Donald O'Connor was hesitant to select a favorite film, he was quick to single out his favorite performance: "Call Me Madam (1953) - my favorite number is in there with Vera-Ellen. It's the number I do out in the garden with her to "It's a Lovely Day Today". It's a beautiful lyrical number. I think she was the best dancer outside of Peggy Ryan I ever danced with".See more »
Quotes:
August Tantinnin:And if I may be permitted an extremely unofficial remark, off the record, as you say, the American ambassador is very beautiful.
Prime Minister Sebastian:So beautiful.
Sally Adams:Well, thank you.
[aside]
Sally Adams:A good optometrist could clean up around here.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Call Her Madam (1998) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Something To Dance AboutSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Call Her MERMAN!, 15 September 2004
Author: Harold_Robbins from United States

Ethel Merman was unique in the annals of the American Musical Theater -she was responsible for the success of more shows, and introduced more songs that became Broadway standards (and by the best composers) than any other performer - even Mary Martin and Gwen Verdon never quite de-throned the First Lady of Musical Theater. But Merman is one of those whose talent didn't quite transcend the big screen, despite several attempts. Anyone seeing her on the screen today may well wonder what all the fuss was about, but take it from an eyewitness: Merman was a force of nature who had to be seen live to be appreciated - when she set foot on a stage, she OWNED that stage, the scenery, and every seat, patron, and brick of that theater.

Although it came along too late to make her a real movie star (she was in her mid-40s already and, unfortunately, wasn't aging gracefully), CALL ME MADAM is her best movie, and gives us the closest approximation of how the Merman magic lit up the stage (and the box-office). MADAM was very much a star vehicle, the kind they don't have today (let's face it: because they don't have such stars), and there wouldn't have been any point in filming it with anyone else - every situation, line, lyric and note of music was tailored to her style, personality, and, of course, voice (aside from the fact that the show is very dated politically, that's the other reason it was seldom revived without her. GYPSY, though a much better show, was considered a sacred Merman vehicle until Angela Lansbury tackled it in 1973 - it's been revived regularly ever since). Merman was known for 'freezing' a performance, seldom varying it by a syllable throughout a show's long run, and often claimed to be thinking about her grocery list while she was belting out a song. Though she probably 'tweaked' her performance for the screen, what we see here is very likely the way she played Sally Adams hundreds of times before and after the movie.

Although she certainly dominates the proceedings, Merman surprisingly doesn't hog the show (she even gave one of her songs over to Donald O'Connor, "Something To Dance About") - everyone gets their chance to shine, from George Sanders (not playing a cad for once, and displaying an excellent singing voice) to the wonderful Donald O'Connor and Vera-Ellen. O'Connor was riding the crest of his success in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, and he's almost as good here - his performance is a joy, whether dancing with Vera-Ellen, by himself, or teaming up with Merman for the legendary duet of "You're Just In Love" that stopped the show cold on-stage (he was fond of saying that one of the Merm's high notes bent his eardrum!).

So pop this one in, sit back and have a wonderful time watching several seasoned troupers doing what they did best - entertaining!

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