7.4/10
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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 »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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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 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, 31 December 1949

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

The final film collaboration between Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, and director Ernst Lubitsch. See more »

Quotes

Count Danilo: [singing] Let us gaze in the wine while it's wet, Let's do things that we'll live to regret, Let me dance till the restaurant whirls, With the girls! Girls! Girls! Girls! Girls! When there's wine and there's women and song, It is wrong not to do something wrong! When you do something wrong, You must do something right, And I'm doing all right tonight!
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Version of Die lustige Witwe (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

The Merry Widow Waltz
by Franz Lehár
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lubitsch and Lehar
24 March 2005 | by didi-5See all my reviews

MGM's second version of 'The Merry Widow', this time using the music of Lehar's operetta and starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier in the roles previously filled by Mae Murray and John Gilbert in the silent movie.

Jeanette MacDonald is a revelation here if you've only seen her in the films which teamed her with Nelson Eddy from 1935 and 1942. Her Sonia is sparky, flirty, and naughty, and naturally in beautiful voice as ever. Maurice Chevalier brings his considerable Gallic charm to the role of Count Danillo, while familiar character faces of the period flesh out the supporting cast (Edward Everett Horton, Donald Meek, Una Merkel, Sterling Holloway).

The film looks sumptuous, with beautiful sets and striking black and white photography. Definitely one of the key musicals of the 1930s.


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