An honest and naive schoolteacher gets a lesson in how the world works outside the classroom, when a rich Baron and his mistress use the teacher's name and outstanding reputation in a ... See full summary »
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
The stately minuet heard at the lavish ball sequence hosted by the Duc D'Orleans at Versailles, is from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, which was composed in 1787. A few moments after the Minuet ends, King Louis XV arrives. He died in 1774 and therefore, this music could not possibly have been played at such an event as it had yet to be written. See more »
One of the best and most sumptuous film biographies of all time.
This film boasts a number of wonderful performances and is a great example of film acting in the thirties and the power of the studios. Robert Morley steals the show as Louis XVI, but equally fine are John Barrymore as the dying Louis XV, Gladys George as Madame du Barry, Joseph Schildkraut as the Duke of Orleans and a whole slew of wonderful character actors who enlivened even the smallest role. Norma Shearer admirably tackles the nearly impossible task of portraying the life of Marie Antoinette from a young girl to a broken woman on her way to the guillotine. In the style of the time, the film has a tendency toward histrionics but for the viewer with patience the overall effect is fascinating. Of special interest to students of art direction. The sets and costumes are incredible.
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