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21 user 4 critic

The Red Danube (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 14 October 1949 (USA)
Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate ... See full summary »

Director:

George Sidney

Writers:

Gina Kaus (screenplay), Arthur Wimperis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar
Ethel Barrymore ... Mother Superior ('Mother Auxilia')
Peter Lawford ... Major John 'Twingo' McPhimister
Angela Lansbury ... Audrey Quail
Janet Leigh ... Olga Alexandrova / Maria Buhlen
Louis Calhern ... Colonel Piniev
Francis L. Sullivan ... Colonel Humphrey 'Blinker' Omicron
Melville Cooper ... Private David Moonlight
Robert Coote ... Brigadier C.M.V. Catlock
Alan Napier ... The General
Roman Toporow Roman Toporow ... 2nd Lt. Maxim Omansky
Kasia Orzazewski Kasia Orzazewski ... Sister Kasmira
Tamara Shayne Tamara Shayne ... Helena Nagard
Konstantin Shayne ... Professor Serge Bruloff
Janine Perreau ... Mickey Mouse
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Storyline

Shortly after the end of World War II, British Colonel Michael 'Hooky' Nicobar is assigned to a unit in the British Zone of Vienna. His duty is to aid the Soviet authorities to repatriate citizens of the Soviet Union, many of whom prefer not to return to their home country. Billeted in the convent run by Mother Auxilia, Nicobar, and his military aides Major John 'Twingo' McPhimister and Audrey Quail, become involved in the plight of a young ballerina who is trying to avoid being returned to Moscow. Nicobar's sense of duty is tested as he sees first hand the plight of the people he is helping return to the Soviet Union; his lack of religious faith is also shaken by his contact with the Mother Superior. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful Maria...the four lives that touched hers were never the same again!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Case of Maria Buhlen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,961,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,859,000, 31 December 1950
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In early 1947, Irene Dunne, Spencer Tracy Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse were set to star. See more »

Goofs

Melville Cooper's role is credited as "Private David Moonlight" but his uniform bears Sergeant's stripes throughout the movie. See more »

Quotes

Mother Superior: [Referring to a previous conversation about religion and its inefficacy in wartime] Like that ladder...
Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar: The ladder?
Mother Superior: There is the ladder, there is the ceiling and there is the paint. If you want the ceiling painted, someone must climb the ladder.
Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar: Yes, you, um, need a painter.
Mother Superior: But suppose the painter remains at the foot of the ladder? You cannot say that the ladder has failed you, or the paint has failed you, or the ceiling has failed you.
Col. Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar: No, no you can't.
Mother Superior: I know about you more than you know ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Onward, Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung briefly by Walter Pidgeon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The director, George Sydney, and his tech crew were geniuses.
6 July 2006 | by margaretwestlake-1See all my reviews

I liked this movie very much; it resonated clearly. I grew up during the 2nd WW, and the aftermath was often a mystery; this relates to that time vis-a-vis Russia and her ex-patriots. This is not a formula movie; we care about the main characters and it really reaches to the heart. The points the script made about our choices in life were well made, and the reference to religion was fair. I'm going to use the metaphoric model of the painter, paint, ladder and ceiling in my own work. The actors were wonderful, and the camera work was exceptional at getting to the feelings that shine through the face. The lighting was part of that effect. I knew something was up when I saw the close-ups with artistic lighting, but I didn't know how strongly they would tie to later scenes and evoke emotions. This added to our caring about the sweet innocent Janet Leigh, and the young, idealistic Peter Lawford. I didn't agree with all the philosophy, but it certainly was mostly a tribute to listening to the conscience.


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