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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

Features Robert Morley's only Oscar nominated performance. 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 you think? What did she say, did she look cross?
Mme. 'Feldy' de Lerchenfeld: Solemn, I thought.
Marie Antoinette: Dear, what it can 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

Version of Lady Oscar (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Amour Eternal Amour
(1939) (uncredited)
Written by Bob Wright, Herbert Stothart and Chet Forrest
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Norma at her best!
5 June 2005 | by Monica4937See all my reviews

I was delighted to see this at the rental store because I absolutely adore Norma Shearer and had yet to see this piece of work. Overall it was very nice, with extravagant costumes (This must have been high up on Liberace's top 100 list), good acting, and fantastic directing. The only thing I have a major problem with is the fact that the director tried to cram in too much of her life into the span of only 2 and a half hours. You first start the movie with Marie Antoinette finding out she is to be married to Louis the XVI, then during the film so much goes on that you sort of have a hard time keeping up with how much time has past in her life, until finally you get to the crucial part in the film where her and her husband are to be executed. I don't know much about her life so I honestly have no idea how much they left out, but as a regular film watcher, I found this piece to be just wonderful. Norma Shearer did such a great job near the end, when she was about to be beheaded. When Count Axel de Fersen comes down the stairs into her dungeon to bid her a final fairwell, you really get the feeling that she is just completely drained with all emotion by the simple look in her eyes. I must admit to shedding some tears during that scene. Another highly recommended film. 8/10


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