A group of disparate travelers are caught and thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Robert E. Sherwood (play), Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Shearer ... Irene
Clark Gable ... Harry
Edward Arnold ... Achille Weber
Charles Coburn ... Dr. Waldersee
Joseph Schildkraut ... Captain Kirvline
Burgess Meredith ... Quillery
Laura Hope Crews ... Madame Zuleika
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Donald Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes ... Mr. Cherry
Pat Paterson ... Mrs. Cherry
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Dumptsy
Fritz Feld ... Pittatek
Virginia Grey ... Les Blondes - Shirley
Virginia Dale ... Les Blondes - Francine
Paula Stone ... Les Blondes - Beulah
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Storyline

When song-and-dance man Harry Van returns from World War I, he finds work hard to come by. His greatest success comes as straight man in a phony vaudeville mind-reading act with the tipsy Madame Zulieka. While on tour in Omaha he meets acrobat Irene Fellara, and they have a brief romance. Twenty years later while Harry is on tour in Europe with a troupe of leggy blonde dancers, his train is stopped at the Swiss border and he finds himself stranded in the Alps in anticipation of World War II hostilities. Harry and his chorines take refuge in an Alpine hotel with a group of disparate travelers who are also marooned there. Among them are an American pacifist, British newlyweds, a cancer researcher, a German munitions manufacturer, and a beautiful blonde expatriate Russian aristocrat who looks suspiciously like the Irene of two decades earlier. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest Thrill They Ever Gave You! Norma and Clark together in the romance of a "ham" song-and-dance man and a "red-headed liar from Omaha." See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of actress Pat Paterson. See more »

Goofs

In the middle of the "Puttin' on the Ritz" performance, the Les Blondes dancer second from the viewer's left is barely in step and not doing any arm movements because she is holding her costume's right-shoulder strap which has broken. The strap is no longer broken when it cuts back to the performers after a reaction shot of Norma Shearer. See more »

Quotes

Donald Navadel: Evidently, Mr. Van, you're not fully aware of the present international situation!
Harry: Well, I'm aware that the international situation is always regrettable. What's wrong now?
Donald Navadel: Haven't you been reading the papers?
Harry: In Bulgaria and Yugoslavia? No.
Donald Navadel: We're on the verge of a war.
Harry: What? Another one!
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Crazy Credits

The six actresses who play Les Blondes are not credited with individual character names. Instead, they are credited using the group character name "Harry Van's Les Blondes" followed by a list of the six actresses names. This appears on a separate title card after the cast list of the other credited roles. See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM filmed two endings for this film: one for American audiences and another, more spiritual and optimistic ending for International audiences because of the war clouds that were gathering in Europe. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Starz Inside: Fashion in Film (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobre las olas (Over the Waves)
(uncredited)
Music by Juventino Rosas
Played by the vaudeville orchestra during the acrobats' act
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User Reviews

This movie is the best
18 April 2001 | by ddenningSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite movies. Norma Shearer is incredible in this film. Norma in those Adrian gowns camping it up to the hilt. Who could ask for more? See it if you get the chance. This movie is right up there with the likes of "Red Dust" and "Cain and Mabel".


17 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Esperanto

Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Idiot's Delight See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,519,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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