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The Merry Widow (1925)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 25 January 1926 (UK)
A prince must woo the now wealthy dancer he once abandoned in order to keep her money in the country in order to keep it from crashing economically.

Director:

Erich von Stroheim

Writers:

Erich von Stroheim (screen adaptation and scenario), Benjamin Glazer (screen adaptation and scenario) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mae Murray ... Sally - The Merry Widow
John Gilbert ... Prince Danilo Petrovich
Roy D'Arcy ... Crown Prince Mirko
Josephine Crowell ... Queen Milena
George Fawcett ... King Nikita
Tully Marshall ... Baron Sadoja
Edward Connelly ... Ambassador
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Storyline

Prince Danilo falls in love with dancer Sally O'Hara. His uncle, King Nikita I of Monteblanco forbids the marriage because she is a commoner. Thinking she has been jilted by her prince, Sally marries old, lecherous Baron Sadoja, whose wealth has kept the kingdom afloat. When he dies suddenly, Sally must be wooed all over again by Danilo. Written by David Eickemeyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

25 January 1926 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Viúva Alegre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$608,016 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a videotaped interview conducted in March 2010 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, dancer Marge Champion noted that her father, dance instructor Ernest Belcher, worked as a choreographer in the ballroom sequence of this film. According to her, he worked extensively with leading lady Mae Murray. When Champion recently watched the film on TCM, however, she was surprised to see that her father received no on-screen credit. See more »

Goofs

Especially given the previous common understanding that a prince has a duty to the state that overrides his duty to himself, it is inconceivable that the first and second in line to the throne would consider, or be allowed to, fight a duel between themselves. See more »

Quotes

Sally - The Merry Widow: Get out of my way you big bum!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version shown on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel has the musical score arranged by Dennis James and performed by him on a Möller pipe organ. It is shown at a proper silent movie speed and runs 137 minutes. See more »

Connections

Version of The Merry Widow (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Erich von Stroheim Kicks up His Heels
1 February 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

"Manhattan Follies" dancer Mae Murray (as Sally O'Hara) attracts much male attention while touring the "Kingdom of Monteblanco," especially from sexually aggressive John Gilbert (as Danilo Petrovich) and Roy D'Arcy (as Prince Mirko). Soon, Mr. Gilbert's lunging leers turn to love, and Ms. Murray succumbs to his charms. However, Royal rulers Josephine Crowell (as Queen Milena) and George Fawcett (as King Nikita I) are against Gilbert's proposed marriage. Feeling jilted, Murray marries grotesque banker Tully Marshall (as Sixtus Sadoja), who promptly kicks the bucket. Newly rich, Murray becomes "The Merry Widow" of Paris. There, Mr. D'Arcy seems to win her affections, but Gilbert hasn't given up the courtship.

With this film, big-spending director Erich von Stroheim showed he could make an entertaining and innovative crowd-pleaser; his previous "Greed" (1924) had run over-budget (and over eight hours). But, although they had their hoped-for hit, MGM had also had enough of Mr. Stroheim; still, he departed on a high. "The Merry Widow" also helped rejuvenate Murray's fading career, albeit briefly. The cast is superlative, with D'Arcy essaying one of his most memorable roles. Perfectly representing Stroheim's famous foot fetish, Mr. Marshall is one of silent filmdom's forgotten treasures. Most of all, the flicker put Gilbert on the road to superstardom, which he cemented with a winning performance in "The Big Parade" (later in 1925).

Spotting Clark Gable and Joan Crawford as extras isn't as easy as counting Stroheim's foot references.

******** The Merry Widow (8/26/25) Erich von Stroheim ~ Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Roy D'Arcy, Tully Marshall


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