A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors:

Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Countess Marie Walewska
Charles Boyer ... Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Reginald Owen ... Tallyrand
Alan Marshal ... Capt. d'Ornano
Henry Stephenson ... Count Anastas Walewski
Leif Erickson ... Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
May Whitty ... Laetitia Bonaparte (as Dame May Whitty)
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Countess Pelagia Walewska
C. Henry Gordon ... Prince Poniatowski
Claude Gillingwater ... Stephan (Marie's servant)
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Dying soldier
George Houston ... Grand Marshal George Duroc
Edit

Storyline

After a brief informal meeting two months earlier when they were impressed with each other, Countess Marie Walewska formally meets Napoleon Bonaparte at a ball in Warsaw. When Napoleon notes her husband is three times her age, and as he is taken with her charms, he unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. She ignores his frequent letters and flowers until a few grim Polish leaders led by Senator Malachowski urge her to give into his desires as a personal sacrifice in order to save Poland. She goes to him despite the humiliation of her husband, who leaves for Rome to annul their marriage. They are extremely happy for a while; Napoleon divorces childless Empress Josephine and Marie eventually becomes pregnant. She is about to tell Napoleon about her baby when he tells her he decided to marry Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. He explains it will be a political marriage to insure his future son could rule securely with Hapsburg blood in him. It will not affect their relationship, he says, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Mightiest! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television showing in Philadelphia Tuesday 5 February 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Seattle Saturday 9 February 1957 on KING (Channel 5), and by Portland OR Wednesday 13 February 1957 on KGW (Channel 8); in Minneapolis it first aired 2 March 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Chicago 16 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Norfolk VA 17 March 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Memphis 1 May 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in Hartford CT 26 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in New York City 7 July 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 1 August 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Baltimore 27 September 1957 on WJZ (Channel 13), and in Altoona PA 16 December 1957 on WFBG (Channel 1); in San Francisco its first telecast occurred 25 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Quotes

Countess Marie Walewska: You. Your throne is yourself and the love of the French people who gave it to you. Doesn't that make you happy?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Svengoolie: The Wolf Man (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

1812 Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

User Reviews

 
Charles Boyer's Napoleon Bonaparte, the gorgeous sets and costumes, and Greta Garbo's exquisite beauty are good reasons to see this film.
5 March 1999 | by Art-22See all my reviews

Some scenes in this film drag on too long and others are too wordy, but I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Boyer's performance as Napoleon Bonaparte. His slight accent accentuates believability. The same can be said about Greta Garbo's slight accent, but she is so stunningly beautiful I hardly noticed. She is also excellent in her last dramatic performance. There are two great scenes to watch for: the opening attack of the cossacks, riding their horses inside the stately home of Garbo and Henry Stephenson and wrecking it; and the ball at the palace in Warsaw, filled with noblemen and noblewomen adorned in gorgeous period clothing. (The gowns were designed by Adrian). Both crowd scenes are handled very well by director Clarence Brown. I was a little disappointed in the limited screenplay. Somehow, when I think of Napoleon I think of a grand epic such as "War and Peace," and not just his personal life. The only part of his war life you see is a brief scene of his retreat from Moscow in the harsh Russian winter. I was impressed by Napoleon's vision of a United States of Europe. He would have been delighted at the introduction of the Eurodollar this year.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beloved See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,732,000 (estimated)
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed