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The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance, Musical | 1 August 1931 (USA)
An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

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Writers:

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

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When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lt. Nikolaus 'Niki' von Preyn
... Franzi
... Princess Anna
... Max (as Charlie Ruggles)
... King Adolf XV
... Niki's Orderly
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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:

Language:

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Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El teniente seductor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (original)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

" The Smiling Lieutenant " was the tenth most popular movie at the U.S. box office for 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

Princess Anna: I love him so dearly.
Franzi: I'm just wild about him.
Princess Anna: I don't blame you. Isn't he good-looking?
Franzi: Oh, and how!
Princess Anna: That's it exactly! And how! Did you see him in his new uniform?
Franzi: At the wedding? Stunning!
Princess Anna: But to tell you the truth, I like him even better in his dinner-coat.
Franzi: With the straw hat?
Princess Anna: Yes, with the straw hat!
Franzi: Oh, that's nothing. Did you ever see him in... oh, never mind!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Loves Mary (1949) 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

 
Sexy, effervescent comedy
7 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

Nowadays, could we even make a comedy this sexually-tinged without tipping into sheer raunchiness? What a lovely film! It took me several films before I finally appreciated Lubitsch and out of what I have seen, The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) has quickly surpassed the also excellent To Be or Not (1942) to Be as my favorite. It has a delightful cast, especially Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins as the women who find themselves drawn to Maurice Chevalier's lusty lieutenant. The script is witty, sexy, and full of the joy of youth and sensual love. You feel giddy despite yourself while watching it. If the film has a flaw, then it's that some of the musical numbers are a touch forgettable, but Colbert's wonderful "Jazz Up Your Lingerie" more than makes up for that!

And the appeal isn't limited to pre-code geeks like me. Even my dad, who generally sticks to post-1980s spy thrillers and avoids black and white movies like the plague, could not leave the living room until the movie was finished. He was laughing with, not at, this eighty plus year old film. That's how powerful the Lubitch magic is. Don't miss out!


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