6.8/10
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Call Me Madam (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | April 1953 (USA)
Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy.

Director:

Walter Lang

Writers:

Russel Crouse (musical "Call Me Madam"), Howard Lindsay (musical "Call Me Madam") | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ethel Merman ... Sally Adams
Donald O'Connor ... Kenneth Gibson
Vera-Ellen ... Princess Maria
George Sanders ... General Cosmo Constantine
Billy De Wolfe ... Pemberton Maxwell
Helmut Dantine ... Prince Hugo
Walter Slezak ... August Tantinnin
Steven Geray ... Prime Minister Sebastian
Ludwig Stössel ... Grand Duke Otto (as Ludwig Stossel)
Lilia Skala ... Grand Duchess Sophie
Charles Dingle ... Sen. Brockway
Emory Parnell ... Sen. Charlie Gallagher
Percy Helton ... Sen. Wilkins
Learn more

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Storyline

Boisterous, fun-loving, and popular Washington D.C. hostess Sally Adams is appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Lichtenburg, Europe's smallest country. In Lichtenburg, the Duke and Duchess are negotiating a political marriage for their niece, Princess Maria in exchange for a substantial dowry. However, the country is desperate for funds, and turns to the inexperienced ambassador for a much needed U.S. loan. Sally refuses to talk money, that is, until she meets the ultra charming Gen. Cosmo Constantine. Meanwhile, Sally's press attaché Kenneth Gibson falls head over heels for Princess Maria. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pairing of Donald O'Connor and Vera-Ellen was very well received, due to their complementary dancing styles and personalities. However, attempts to re-team them were unsuccessful, most notably with White Christmas (1954), in which Danny Kaye replaced O'Connor at the last minute due to his sudden and severe illness. Coincidentally, Danny Kaye is mentioned in "Call Me Madam" as a joke. See more »

Quotes

Congressman: When will you arrive at your post?
Sally Adams: I'm not sure. Hey, boss, where the heck is Lichtenburg?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, as each word in the title appears onscreen, we hear, but do not see, Ethel Merman exclaiming, in a demanding tone of voice: "Call..me..madam!" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Series 1 Compilation 1 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Can You Use Any Money Today
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Ethel Merman
See more »

User Reviews

Merman, Like Olives . . .
4 July 2004 | by harry-76See all my reviews

is an acquired taste. Apparently enough folks developed it enough to keep Ethel's shows running for a couple of decades.

One of the "Queens of Broadway" (with Mary Martin) Ethel Merman's brassy voice belted through many a record-breaking run, thrilling thousands.

What a rare treat to see her in a role she made her own! "Call Me Madam" is a dandy musical, rich with a great Irving Berlin score and lively performances.

Equally rare is the excellent singing performance of George Sanders. His beautiful baritone is heard in "It's an Old-fashioned Idea" and other lovely ballads. As he played Gen. Constantine, I couldn't help but wonder how his reported troubled private life might have gone had he done more light, musical fare.

Sanders' whole demeanor is different: he's warm, relaxed, sincere and fun-filled--what a departure from the cynical cads he was almost always engaged to portray! [N. B. History shows he was signed to star in a stage production of "South Pacific," and his recording of solo ballads, "The Sanders Touch: Songs to the Lovely Lady"--released five years after this film--has become one of the hottest collectors' items around.] All I can say is, his singing is gorgeous in "Call Me Madam."

If this Fox musical has the somewhat look and feel of an MGM production, there's Donald O'Conner and Vera-Ellen lending their aura from the latter studio. Director Walter Lang, an old-hand at Fox musicals and light comedies, keeps things on track, while Bob Alton's dances really hit-the-mark.

"Call Me Madam" is a most delightful diversion, and a lasting testament to the gifted Merman--the "hostest with the mostest."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam See more »

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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