Merry Widow

The Merry Widow

Director: Curtis Bernhardt, Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas, Una Merkel

Cast: Curtis Bernhardt, Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas, Una Merkel

     
 

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Based on an operetta by Franz Lehar, this remake of the 1934 original finds a wealthy widow (Lana Turner) returning to her husband's native land to dedicate a memorial to him. The king (Thomas Gomez) of the country, deep in debt, tries to convince her to stay by offering a young count (Fernando Lamas) for her to marry. The film earned Oscar nominations for Best Art

Overview

Based on an operetta by Franz Lehar, this remake of the 1934 original finds a wealthy widow (Lana Turner) returning to her husband's native land to dedicate a memorial to him. The king (Thomas Gomez) of the country, deep in debt, tries to convince her to stay by offering a young count (Fernando Lamas) for her to marry. The film earned Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Costumes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It seems a trifle silly to film an operetta renowned for its sparkling music and then throw out huge chunks of the score, but that's what the powers that be decided to do with The Merry Widow. Of course, with non-singer Lana Turner portraying the title role, that decision does make some sense; what is more mystifying is why, since Turner's singing is being dubbed anyway, didn't they give the character more to sing? Madame Radek's vocalizing is limited to one duet, whereas co-star Fernando Lamas gets four solos in addition to the duet. This creates a grave imbalance between the two, and while Turner's performance and star power help to negate this, it still affects the film. Bereft of most of its score, Widow has to get by on its silly story with many contrived incidents -- but it does so surprisingly well, thanks in large part to Turner and Lamas' chemistry, as well as the dependably tough-but-tender supporting turn by Una Merkel. There's also a well-danced (by Gwen Verdon) can-can and a haunting climactic "ballroom ballet." The latter is especially noteworthy, demonstrating how in the hands of the right person (choreographer Jack Cole), simple choreographic movements can be combined with a judicious use of camera movement, lighting, and costumes to create an emotionally affecting and quietly thrilling musical sequence. Widow is far from perfect, but it's more than acceptable entertainment.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/17/2015
UPC:
0888574353995
Original Release:
1952
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
2:17:00
Sales rank:
3,494

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lana Turner Crystal Radek
Fernando Lamas Count Danilo
Una Merkel Kitty Riley
Richard Haydn Baron Popoff
Thomas Gomez King of Marshovia
John Abbott Marshovian Ambassador
King Donovan Nitki
Robert Coote Marquis De Crillon
Sujata Gypsy Girl
Lisa Ferraday Marcella
Shepard Menken Kunjany
Ludwig Stossel Major Domo
Marcel Dalio Police Sergeant
Edward Earle Chestnut Vendor
Trudy Erwin Actor
Anne Kimbell Second Girl
Joi Lansing Maxim Girl
Wanda McKay First Girl
Greg Sherwood Actor
Gwen Verdon Specialty Dancer
Dave Willock Attache

Technical Credits
Curtis Bernhardt Director
Jay Blackton Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Jack Cole Choreography
Cedric Gibbons Production Designer
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Paul Groesse Production Designer
Arthur Krams Set Decoration/Design
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
William Ludwig Screenwriter
Conrad A. Nervig Editor
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Joe Pasternak Producer
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Gile Steele Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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