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The Merry Widow (1934)

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 Danièle Parola ... La reine (French Version)
George Barbier ... King Achmed II
André Berley 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 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

As in the 1925 and 1952 film versions, almost the entire plot is changed from the stage version, though several of the characters are basically the same. Only the made-for-TV versions have used the original plot and characters. See more »

Quotes

Count Danilo: [singing] Though our country will never make war, We've a reason that's worth marching for, Not for battle our banner unfurls, But for girls! Girls! Girls! Girls! Girls!
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 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Melody of Laughter
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Lehár
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
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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