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The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed | | Biography, Drama, Music | 4 November 1938 (USA)
In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors:

Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Gottfried Reinhardt (original story), Samuel Hoffenstein (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luise Rainer ... Poldi Vogelhuber
Fernand Gravey ... Johann Strauss (as Fernand Gravet)
Miliza Korjus ... Carla Donner
Hugh Herbert ... Hofbauer
Lionel Atwill ... Count Hohenfried
Curt Bois ... Kienzl
Leonid Kinskey ... Dudelman
Al Shean ... Cellist
Minna Gombell ... Mrs. Hofbauer
George Houston ... Schiller
Bert Roach ... Vogelhuber
Greta Meyer ... Mrs. Vogelhuber
Herman Bing ... Dommayer
Alma Kruger ... Mrs. Strauss
Henry Hull ... Franz Josef
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Storyline

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. After he is fired from his clerical bank job because of his preoccupation with composing, he decides to follow his passion and form an orchestra. After some famed opera singers, including Carla Donner, hear his music, they expose Schani's music to the masses, to royalty and to music publisher Julius Hofbauer. As such, Schani becomes the toast of Vienna. With his new found musical fame, Schani's life, which includes his work in the European Revolutions, changes. He becomes torn for his love for his loving and faithful wife Poldi Vogelhuber and his more emotionally passionate but somewhat destructive love for Carla Donner, who herself is involved with Count Anton Hohenfried. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your beating heart,your pounding pulse will tell you it's the most exciting musical love story ever told!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Johann Strauss See more »

Filming Locations:

Chino, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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

Toscha Seidel, the Russian virtuoso violinist, was hired especially to dub the solos on the soundtrack for Johann Strauss (Fernand Gravey) and began a new career working as a concert master at MGM and other studios. See more »

Quotes

Carla Donner: The only composers I ever knew were fat little men with bald heads.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.13 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
(1874) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung at the opera by Miliza Korjus
See more »

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User Reviews

Duvivier's holiday homework.
27 October 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Sandwiched,in Duvivier's oeuvre,between two absolute masterpieces "Un carnet de Bal" and the overlooked "La fin du Jour" (some kind of French "Sunset Blvd" ) where the director's pessimism reaches new heights ,"The great waltz " ,unlike another movie made in Hollywood "Flesh and fantasy" cannot be looked upon as a "film d' Auteur".

It's impersonal but it nevertheless displays Duvivier's extraordinary eclecticism."The great waltz" is a good work,made with care and taste and shows that Duvivier could have been a great musicals director,if he had wanted to.Half of the movie consists of instrumentals or songs,which makes sense,for it is a movie dealing with Strauss's life.His private life does not interest that much Duvivier who avoids the traps of a linear biography.However,there are snatches of melodrama towards the end,mainly in the scenes between the moving Luise Rainer and Miliza Korjus in the theater.Fernand Gravey (spelled "Gravet" in the cast and credits)is the only French actor here.He had begun his American career with Mervyn LeRoy in 1937.

All the musical scenes are dazzling ;the "blue Danube" treatment is excellent,a waltz which would be used by dozens of directors,from Renoir ("Boudu Sauvé des Eaux" ) to Kubrik ("2001" ) to Cimino ("Heaven's gate"). Other good sequence: Strauss composing a new tune while he is hearing a horse' s trot.


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