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The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, Music | 4 November 1938 (USA)
In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors:

Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Gottfried Reinhardt (original story), Samuel Hoffenstein (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luise Rainer ... Poldi Vogelhuber
Fernand Gravey ... Johann Strauss (as Fernand Gravet)
Miliza Korjus ... Carla Donner
Hugh Herbert ... Hofbauer
Lionel Atwill ... Count Hohenfried
Curt Bois ... Kienzl
Leonid Kinskey ... Dudelman
Al Shean ... Cellist
Minna Gombell ... Mrs. Hofbauer
George Houston ... Schiller
Bert Roach ... Vogelhuber
Greta Meyer ... Mrs. Vogelhuber
Herman Bing ... Dommayer
Alma Kruger ... Mrs. Strauss
Henry Hull ... Franz Josef
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Storyline

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. After he is fired from his clerical bank job because of his preoccupation with composing, he decides to follow his passion and form an orchestra. After some famed opera singers, including Carla Donner, hear his music, they expose Schani's music to the masses, to royalty and to music publisher Julius Hofbauer. As such, Schani becomes the toast of Vienna. With his new found musical fame, Schani's life, which includes his work in the European Revolutions, changes. He becomes torn for his love for his loving and faithful wife Poldi Vogelhuber and his more emotionally passionate but somewhat destructive love for Carla Donner, who herself is involved with Count Anton Hohenfried. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your beating heart,your pounding pulse will tell you it's the most exciting musical love story ever told!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Johann Strauss See more »

Filming Locations:

Chino, California, USA See more »

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

Charles Boyer reportedly turned down the starring role. See more »

Quotes

Carla Donner: Where are we?
Coachman: Where you wanted to be, in the Vienna Woods, and it's only six o'clock in the morning, and you have a long and beautiful day ahead of you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars: The Lion Reigns Supreme (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

There'll Come a Time
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Miliza Korjus at Hohenfried's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
By Strauss!
13 January 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Julien Duvivier, the great French director, had a brief career in Hollywood during WWII. Alas, the movies he was involved with, didn't fare as well as the ones he did in France. It must have been difficult for a man of his stature to try his hand at film making in America because of problems with artistic control of his pictures and the way things were done in Hollywood.

"The Great Waltz" was a fine example of what M. Duvivier could do. This glorious 1938 MGM film was one of the most loved films of that period. Not only that, but even if the subject matter, Johann Strauss' life was not accurate, at least his great music is heard in the film. The exquisite art direction Cedric Gibbons gave the picture and the beautiful costumes from Adrian made this a favorite of the movie going public of that time.

The life of the struggling musician who had a lot of talent, but whose music was a departure from what has been heard in Vienna before him, was something movies loved to tell. Whether or not this was a true account of the composer's life, it's still a visually rich film.

Fernand Fravey as Strauss gives a good performance. Luise Ranier makes the suffering and self-sacrificing Poldi, one of her best creations. The true star of the film though, is Milizia Korjus, who as the gorgeous soprano Carla Donner steals the show with her singing and her looks. Hugh Herbert, Alma Kruger, Curt Bois, and the rest of the cast do great work for Julien Duvivier.

"The Great Waltz" is a film that's not seen often these days and it's a shame because it's an excellent excuse for going back to that period and the great music Strauss gave to the world.


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