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The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Leopold Jacobson (operetta), Felix Dormann (operetta) (as Felix Dörmann) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maurice Chevalier ... Lt. Nikolaus 'Niki' von Preyn
Claudette Colbert ... Franzi
Miriam Hopkins ... Princess Anna
Charles Ruggles ... Max (as Charlie Ruggles)
George Barbier ... King Adolf XV
Hugh O'Connell ... Niki's Orderly
Edit

Storyline

Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna from the neighboring kingdom of Flausenthurm drive by, and Anna intercepts a wink meant for Franzi. She falls for Niki, marries him (he has no choice in the matter), and whisks him off to Flausenthurm. Franzi follows and enjoys a brief affair with Niki before Anna finds out. Franzi, much more experienced in the ways of the world, gives Anna lessons on how to win the affections of her husband. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El teniente seductor See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount's biggest grossing film of 1931. See more »

Goofs

In the latter part of the movie Chevalier bounds up a grand staircase painted to appear as marble but the loud clomp-clomp-clomp of his shoes reveals it to be just wood. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Niki: When we like someone, we smile. But when we want to do something about it, we wink.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The House That Shadows Built (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Toujours l'Amour in the Army
(1931)
Music by Oscar Straus
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
Sung by Maurice Chevalier twice
See more »

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User Reviews

Delightful confection
23 May 2003 | by jaykay-10See all my reviews

If you like cotton candy, or maybe a marshmallow sundae with sprinkles and a cherry on top, this picture will be among your favorites. What could be more appealing than a Lubitsch romantic comedy with its characteristic sly innuendos? Perhaps one that is set in a palace, with uniformed guards, ladies-in-waiting, and pageantry that no one takes seriously. More appealing than that? All of the above, with music. Want more? The casting is perfect: a flirtatious, mugging Chevalier; a young and nicely naughty Claudette Colbert; and most notably Miriam Hopkins effectively playing the extremes - a prim, virginal innocent who learns the ways of a vamp in order to hold her man. As her father, George Barbier contributes impressively, too. Great fun; one of Lubitsch's best.


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