6.1/10
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19 user 7 critic

The Emperor Waltz (1948)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 2 July 1948 (USA)
A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

Director:

Billy Wilder
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bing Crosby ... Virgil Smith
Joan Fontaine ... Johanna Augusta Franziska
Roland Culver ... Baron Holenia
Lucile Watson ... Princess Bitotska
Richard Haydn ... Emperor Franz-Josef
Harold Vermilyea ... Chamberlain
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Zwieback
Julia Dean ... Archduchess Stephanie
Bert Prival Bert Prival ... Chauffeur
Alma Macrorie Alma Macrorie ... Inn Proprietress
Roberta Jonay Roberta Jonay ... Chambermaid
John Goldsworthy John Goldsworthy ... Obersthofmeister
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Storyline

Traveling Salesman Virgil Smith wants to sell his Grammophones in pre-WWI Austria. To enhance this, he especially wants to sell one to Emperor Franz Joseph, but at first the Austrian palace guards think he is carrying a bomb. He meets the Countess Johanna von Stolzenberg-Stolzenberg and after the usual misunderstandings, falls in love with her, this is especially assisted by his dog Buttons. But the relation between a Countess and an ordinary U.S. citizen cannot work in Austria, that is the Emperor's opinion. Is he wrong ? Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Paramount's Crowning Entertainment Achievement! Bing's Best Songs!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

2 July 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Valsa do Imperador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,070,248 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Bing Crosby and Richard Haydn also worked together in 1950's Mr. Music. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Franz-Josef: [about Virgil] We both agreed that with him you had only one chance in a million to be happy
Johanna Augusta Franziska: Your majesty thinks that I am happy? Isn't one chance in a million better than no chance at all?
Emperor Franz-Josef: My dear, you are much to pretty for mathematics.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edith Head: The Paramount Years (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Kiss in Your Eyes
Music by Richard Heuberger (uncredited)
English Lyrics by Johnny Burke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
surprisingly enjoyable, check it out
5 January 2007 | by MrswingSee all my reviews

After having read all the negative reviews and the complaints about Crosby wrecking Wilder's original intention with the film, I was quite amazed to discover that I liked this film a lot. Crosby's interference isn't noticeable, by which I mean that the film has a quite evenhanded tone. And near the end, Crosby is absolutely horrid to Joan Fontaine (cruel to be kind, but he still takes it to extremes) in a cynical way which just smacks of Wilder's black-heartedness. Crosby's character in this film is also somewhat different from his usual persona: not laid-back, but a pushy, brash, fast-talking salesman (Hope or Cagney might have suited the story even better). Joan Fontain is very icy and remote at first (making her unattractive), but she melts very convincingly once the love affair starts. The film is also a sort of a parody of the musical: Crosby's yodelling song is full of yodel jokes, and during THE number of the film (I kiss your hand in dreams madame), a chamber-maid, Fontaine's goofy chauffeur and the middle-aged pudgy 'receptionist' of the inn at which Mr. C is staying launch into a wonderfully silly (deliberately so) ballet routine clearly intended as a stab at the conventions of the genre. The last part of the film becomes less amusing, and the puppy finale drags a bit, though the final confrontation with Franz Joseph (a great Richard Haydn) makes up for the lull. Finally, Fontaine has one of the greatest lines in movie history when she finally surrenders to Crosby: 'My husband was dashing and suave. He was 6'2". He was the most handsome man in all of Austria. You're so different!!' And kiss. Sheer brilliance.


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