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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

Film debut of Ann Savage. See more »

Quotes

Carla Donner: Where are we?
Coachman: Where you wanted to be, in the Vienna Woods, and it's only six o'clock in the morning, and you have a long and beautiful day ahead of you.
See more »

Connections

Version of Strauss' Great Waltz (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Artist's Life, Op.316
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Played during the opening credits
Played at Dommayer's
See more »

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User Reviews

Tale of the Vienna composer...and what gorgeous music!!
14 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

This fictional account of Johann Strauss' life is highlighted by one of the most exquisite scenes in musical history--far from real of course--in which the composer and an operatic diva are driven through the woods in horse and buggy while the countryside comes alive with the sound of music. The pastoral beauty of the scene itself combined with the intricate way 'Tale of the Vienna Woods' is woven into the musical scene (as composer Strauss begins humming the tune along with his diva friend) is just one of the charming highlights of this MGM musical.

Swirling waltzes are captured with such superb angles in the Oscar-winning camerawork, it's no wonder David O. Selznick was impressed enough to insist that his own technical staff derive inspiration from viewing the film.

Soprano Miliza Korjus does some excellent trills as the operatic diva who steals Strauss from his wife (temporarily) until the obligatory happy ending. Luise Rainer suffers gracefully (in an insufferable role as the wife!!) and Fernand Gravet does well as the composer. His scenes with Miliza Korjus are what makes the film the gem that it is. She all but steals the film and was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar and then disappeared from the American scene, returning to Europe to resume her operatic career.


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