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19 user 9 critic

That Lady in Ermine (1948)

Circa 1861, Angelina, ruling countess of an Italian principality, is at a loss when invaded by a Hungarian army. Her lookalike ancestress Francesca, who saved a similar situation 300 years ... See full summary »

Directors:

Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger (uncredited)

Writer:

Samson Raphaelson (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Betty Grable ... Francesca / Angelina
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Colonel Ladislas Karolyi Teglas / The Duke
Cesar Romero ... Count Mario
Walter Abel ... Major Horvath / Benvenuto
Reginald Gardiner ... Alberto
Harry Davenport ... Luigi
Virginia Campbell Virginia Campbell ... Theresa
Whit Bissell ... Giulio
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Storyline

Circa 1861, Angelina, ruling countess of an Italian principality, is at a loss when invaded by a Hungarian army. Her lookalike ancestress Francesca, who saved a similar situation 300 years before, comes to life from a portrait to help her descendant. Complicating factor: the newlywed countess feels strangely drawn to the handsome invader... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GAY, MUSICAL COMEDY...SPARKLING WITH SPICY SITUATIONS! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1948 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is the Moment See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,484,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,414,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

In later years Betty Grable said it was her least favorite of all her movies. See more »

Goofs

When she is dancing with Colonel Ladislas Karolyi Teglas / The Duke you can see the trampoline behind the table. See more »

Quotes

Col. Ladislas Karolyi Teglas: If one is in love, one doesn't need an umbrella.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Betty Grable: Behind the Pin-up (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Melody Has to Be Right
(uncredited)
Written by Friedrich Hollaender
Lyrics Leo Robin
Sung by Betty Grable
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ermine strangeness
2 November 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Watched 'That Lady in Ermine' as an admirer of both Otto Preminger and Ernst Lubitsch and as a fan of classic-era film. It is hard to go wrong too with performers such as Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Caesar Romero on their own and just as big a delight seeing those names in the same film and there was an intriguing story and ideas here.

Ideas that could have been executed much better on the whole. 'That Lady in Ermine' is far from a bad film and there is a good deal to like, but it is very uneven, quite strange and doesn't really come together as an overall whole. While the talent and potential are not completely squandered they are nowhere near close to being fulfilled, all have done much better and deserved better.

Starting with the good things, 'That Lady in Ermine' does look great. It is very lavishly produced and shot in beautiful, vibrant Technicolor. The music is pleasant and charming regardless of its lack of memorability. There are elements of the Lubitsch touch, where there is sparkling wit, sophistication and charm and where the film has more energy.

Despite her later considering 'That Lady in Ermine' her least favourite film of her career, Betty Grable is spunky and charming, it is not a typical role for her but her approach to it is distinctively so. Romero and especially Fairbanks are immensely likeable in their roles and Walter Abel, Harry Davenport and Reginald Gardiner entertain in support.

However, the story is both slight, plot-less often, and overly silly, with a lot of ideas not done anywhere near much with and too many elements that don't gel together. The script is uneven, sometimes witty and at other times clunky and the pace is a mix of just fine to dull in other stretches. The final act is somewhat heavy-handed which jars with a good deal of the rest of the film.

As has been said, this was Lubitsch's last film and mostly his but he sadly died of a heart attack aged 55 during filming and the film was completed by Preminger. Some may say that the transition from one to the other was seamless, personally do not agree with this. The two had very different directing styles to each other and approached their films differently, Lubitsch's films were light, sophisticated and witty while Preminger's were heavier and some exploring darker and ahead of the time themes and subjects, both as great and absorbing as each other in their own way. Both styles can be seen here and don't gel together, with Lubitsch's style being more successful in his own distinctive way and far more enthusiastic while Preminger's was heavy-handed and coarse which is where the film is less interesting.

Overall, uneven but oddly interesting and watchable. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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