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The Merry Widow (1934)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 2 November 1934 (USA)
When a small kingdom's main tax payer leaves for Paris, its king dispatches a dashing count to win back her allegiance.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Ernest Vajda (screen play), Samson Raphaelson (screen play) | 7 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurice Chevalier ... Prince Danilo
Jeanette MacDonald ... Sonia
Edward Everett Horton ... Ambassador Popoff
Marcel Vallée Marcel Vallée ... L'ambassadeur (French Version)
Una Merkel ... Queen Dolores
Danièle Parola ... La reine (French Version)
George Barbier ... King Achmed II
André Berley ... Le roi (French Version)
Fifi D'Orsay ... Marcelle (French Version)
Minna Gombell ... Marcelle
Ruth Channing ... Lulu
Pauline Garon ... Lola (French Version)
George Davis ... L'ordonnance (French Version)
Sterling Holloway ... Orderly Mishka
Donald Meek ... Valet
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Storyline

The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52% of the taxes) has left for Paris. So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her from getting married to a stranger, so that the danger of removing the money is averted. But this is not as easy as the ambassador in Paris has planned. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The musical that set all the standards. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La veuve joyeuse See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$329,180

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,014,620
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM hired at least 500 extras for the "Merry Widow" dance number. See more »

Goofs

When Count Danilo leaves Madame Sonia's residence after his romantic efforts are rejected, there is a close up of him fully shutting the door. Next, when it cuts to a long shot of just Madame, you see that the door is not fully closed but is in the process of swinging shut on its own. See more »

Quotes

Count Danilo: I'm guilty. Guilty of treason, failing in duty, of everything you want. But, most of all, I'm guilty of being a fool. Once in my life, I lost both my heart and my head. Therefore, I should be punished. Without mercy! Let my fate be a warning to every man.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A slightly censored version was released to television in the 1950s - retitled "The Lady Dances". See more »

Connections

Version of The Merry Widow (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Tonight Will Teach Me To Forget
by Franz Lehár
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Delightful Travesty
28 January 2006 | by fiat0903See all my reviews

No need to add to the many reviews finding this a delightful, well made film. It is every bit that. Yet, this film violates one of the principles of truth in filming. It is NOT the Lehar Merry Widow. At best it is a distant cousin. To be sure, the film uses some of the music, albeit in odd places. and uses the names of some of the characters.

One of the plot elements of both the Lehar and the Lubitsch is the need for the tiny country to have the widow marry to keep her millions in the country's bank. The male lead is Danilo in both but in Lehar he is a playboy count. Here he is a bold captain. In Lehar, the leads were lovers in the past. Here they are newly met. And so it goes.

From the standpoint of faithfulness to the Lehar work, a work which still enraptures, this film is a travesty. Yet, it is a delightful travesty. Too bad they did not give it a different name.


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