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It Was a Gay Ballnight (1939)

Es war eine rauschende Ballnacht (original title)
1865. Katharina goes to a ball in Moscow. There she meets again Tchaikowsky, her first and only love. The young, who is now married to wealthy Michael Iwanowitsch Murakin, a man she does ... See full summary »


Carl Froelich


Jean Victor (story), Georg Wittuhn (story) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Zarah Leander ... Katharina Alexandrowna Murakina, Michael Iwanowitschs Frau
Aribert Wäscher Aribert Wäscher ... Michael Iwanowitsch Murakin
Hans Stüwe ... Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowsky
Marika Rökk ... Nastassja Petrowna Jarowa, Dancer
Leo Slezak ... Prof. Otto Hunsinger
Fritz Rasp ... Porphyr Philippowitsch Kruglikow, Kritiker
Paul Dahlke ... Iwan Casarowitsch Glykow, Music publisher
Hugo Froelich Hugo Froelich ... Vater Jarow
Karl Haubenreißer Karl Haubenreißer ... Gruda, Konzertagent
Karl Hellmer Karl Hellmer ... Stepan, Butler
Wolfgang von Schwindt Wolfgang von Schwindt ... Onkel Jarow
Kurt Vespermann ... Ferdyschtschenko


1865. Katharina goes to a ball in Moscow. There she meets again Tchaikowsky, her first and only love. The young, who is now married to wealthy Michael Iwanowitsch Murakin, a man she does not love, has not forgotten Piotr Illich, the (not yet) famous composer. Both are still in love with each other but Piotr is engaged to Nastassia, a dancer, while for her part Katharina cannot leave her husband. Tchaikowky's first love then decides to sacrifice her happiness to the success of the composer, sponsoring him in secret. Something Piotr will learn only years after. When Katharina finds herself free at last it is too late: Tchaikowsky is dying of cholera and she only has time to close his eyes. Written by Guy Bellinger

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A lost love that made music for millions! (print ad for U.S.A. reissue "Life and Loves of Tschaikovsky" See more »




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Did You Know?


Finnish censorship visa # 023041. See more »


Through the movie various compositions of Tchaikovski are set in a wrong time period. While the first part of the movie is set in 1865 the Trepak dance from "The Nutcracker" is played, which was released in 1892. The Romance op. 5 was released in 1868. Also Tchaikovski's publisher asked to release the "Capriccio Italien" which, was played later in the movie, was only written in 1880. See more »


Edited into Bellaria - So lange wir leben! (2002) See more »


Chanson triste
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Zarah Leander
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User Reviews

magnificent song, great Russian scenes, high drama
1 July 2004 | by ClossiusSee all my reviews

Of course, to have Tchaikovsky of all people have a heterosexual love affair seems somehow funny today, although his love interest is played by Zarah Leander, who was not one of the greatest UFA stars but who is also a gay icon. In any case, this is a brilliant movie if one likes high drama by divas, and Zarah sings one of the most famous and touching songs of the time, "Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen", which has not lost its charm today. And indeed, some superb ball and society scenes set in Imperial Russia, which for many viewers will only profit through the beautiful black-and-white. Highly recommended to watch on DVD in late Fall while drinking hot chocolate with vodka!

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Release Date:

3 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It Was a Gay Ballnight See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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