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Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, History | 26 August 1938 (USA)
The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors:

W.S. Van Dyke (as W.S. Van Dyke II), Julien Duvivier (uncredited)

Writers:

Claudine West (screen play), Donald Ogden Stewart (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Shearer ... Marie Antoinette
Tyrone Power ... Count Axel de Fersen
John Barrymore ... King Louis XV
Robert Morley ... King Louis XVI
Anita Louise ... Princesse de Lamballe
Joseph Schildkraut ... Duke d'Orléans
Gladys George ... Mme. du Barry
Henry Stephenson ... Count de Mercey
Cora Witherspoon ... Countess de Noailles
Barnett Parker ... Prince de Rohan
Reginald Gardiner ... Comte d'Artois
Henry Daniell ... La Motte
Leonard Penn ... Toulan
Albert Dekker ... Comte de Provence (as Albert Van Dekker)
Alma Kruger ... Empress Maria Theresa
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Storyline

The life of Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) from betrothal and marriage in 1770 to her beheading. At first, she's a Hapsburg teenager isolated in France, living a virgin's life in the household of the Dauphin, a shy solitary man who would like to be a locksmith. Marie discovers high society, with the help of Orleans and her brothers-in-law. Her foolishness is at its height when she meets a Swedish count, Axel de Fersen. He helps her see her fecklessness. In the second half of the film, she avoids an annulment, becomes queen, bears children, and is a responsible ruler. The affair of the necklace and the general poverty of France feed revolution. She faces death with dignity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

María Antonieta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,926,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original road show print including entry, intermission and exit music)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Gladys George (who plays du Barry) and the real Jeanne Bécu, comtesse du Barry, share the same death day. George died from a cerebral hemorrhage on Dec. 8, 1954, while the comtesse was a victim of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution and was guillotined on Dec. 8, 1793 - less than two months after Marie Antionette's own execution. See more »

Goofs

In the film, it is indicated that Marie Antoinette became quite custom to France and the French way of life. In real life, she never did, and it is one of the things that caused the French to hate the native Austrian royal more. Letters written home to her mother and siblings, Marie Antoinette would write how much she missed her native country, and until the day she did, only loved the Holy Roman Empire, never France. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marie Antoinette: What can Mama want at this time of night? I was nearly asleep. Is it something I've done, do you think? What did she say? Did she look cross?
Mme. 'Feldy' de Lerchenfeld: Solemn, I thought.
Marie Antoinette: Oh, dear, what can it be? What have I done? She can't say much to me anyway. I'm a grown woman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

"Unrestored" film has now been restored and is available on DVD. When the film played the Carthay Circle in Los Angeles and the Astor Theatre in New York as a reserved seat "road show" attraction, the print ran eleven minutes longer than the generally available 149 minute Turner Library print. These eleven minutes contained an overture, entr'acte, and exit music, with an intermission immediately following Antoinette's emotional farewell to Fersen on the steps of Versailles. These remnants of the "road show" presentation have now been restored to the new Warner Bros. Home Video DVD, which runs a little over 157 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Goes to Town (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of the Furies
(uncredited)
from "Orpheus and Euridice" (1762)
Written by Christoph Willibald Gluck
[Heard as background score during the masked ball sequence.]
See more »

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User Reviews

excellent film!
1 March 2005 | by jan_neptuneSee all my reviews

This movie will probably never be excelled largely because of the casting. I don't believe that anyone will ever find better actors or actresses to portray King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette than Robert Morley and Norma Shearer. The black and white aspect of this great classic film is simply spell binding in its interpretation of the life of the Royal Family. Color will give it a different dimension. The manner in which the conflict of the ensuing mob marching upon the Versailles is well portrayed. I especially like the sense of paranoia and fear that grip the Queen and her entourage. The use of the outside gate is especially endearing to me, reminding me why it is that King Louis XIV created the Château d' Versailles in such a distance from Paris. Unless one knows the history of the Château, nobody can truly appreciate the march of the Faubourgs. Excellent film, and I recommend seeing it before any other on the same subject!


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