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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)
Reviews

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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

The movie turned out to be a box office flop. On its initial release it made one million dollars less than it cost to make. It is rarely seen and has only appeared on Turner Classic Movies once. 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

Remake of The Lady in Ermine (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jester's Song
(uncredited)
Written by Friedrich Hollaender
Lyrics Leo Robin
Sung by Reginald Gardiner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some redeeming qualities
29 December 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Betty Grable is "That Lady in Ermine" in this 1948 musical, also starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Cesar Romero, Reginald Gardner, and Walter Abel.

Frankly, it's hard for me to believe that Lubitsch directed this. And in fact, he died eight days into production and the film was finished by Otto Preminger. The story is taken from a 1922 musical, and originally Lubitsch wanted Jeanette MacDonald for the role; Zanuck wanted Gene Tierney; finally Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer were announced, but it didn't happen.

Grable has a dual role here, as Angelina in 1861 and her ancestor Francesca, from 1561, whose portrait hangs in the great hall. Angelina has just been married to Count Mario, who, as soon as they get into her quarters, is called to action against Hungarian invaders. The Hungarians also invaded 300 years ago, and Francesca was able to save the castle. Can her ancestor do it again, in spite of feeling attracted to the handsome colonel (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.)? The film takes us into the past and back into the present, and it's a lush, gorgeous production. Grable's gowns are exquisite, and she looks gorgeous. Someone here noted she was past her prime (at the ripe old age of 31) and a little plump. She sure didn't look it to me, she looks fantastic. The color in the film is eye-popping as well.

There is really no music to speak of, except for a couple of songs that are continually repeated. There are some funny bits, and it's a fine cast. The ancestors step out of their portraits and come to life, and at one point, Fairbanks is dubbed and sings gloriously in an operatic tenor voice. Fairbanks is wonderful; Grable is perhaps a little too vanilla for the role, but she gives the role a youthful energy. Other than Tierney, the other stars, who were legit sopranos, were a bit older. The story, what there was of it, really needed the lightness Grable gave it.

See it for incredible color and costumes and a fine cast. The music and the story aren't of much consequence - it's nice postwar fluff.


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