6.5/10
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Idiot's Delight (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 27 January 1939 (USA)
A group of disparate travelers are caught and thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Robert E. Sherwood (play), Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Shearer ... Irene
Clark Gable ... Harry
Edward Arnold ... Achille Weber
Charles Coburn ... Dr. Waldersee
Joseph Schildkraut ... Captain Kirvline
Burgess Meredith ... Quillery
Laura Hope Crews ... Madame Zuleika
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Donald Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes Peter Willes ... Mr. Cherry
Pat Paterson ... Mrs. Cherry
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Dumptsy
Fritz Feld ... Pittatek
Virginia Grey ... Les Blondes - Shirley
Virginia Dale ... Les Blondes - Francine
Paula Stone ... Les Blondes - Beulah
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Storyline

When song-and-dance man Harry Van returns from World War I, he finds work hard to come by. His greatest success comes as straight man in a phony vaudeville mind-reading act with the tipsy Madame Zulieka. While on tour in Omaha he meets acrobat Irene Fellara, and they have a brief romance. Twenty years later while Harry is on tour in Europe with a troupe of leggy blonde dancers, his train is stopped at the Swiss border and he finds himself stranded in the Alps in anticipation of World War II hostilities. Harry and his chorines take refuge in an Alpine hotel with a group of disparate travelers who are also marooned there. Among them are an American pacifist, British newlyweds, a cancer researcher, a German munitions manufacturer, and a beautiful blonde expatriate Russian aristocrat who looks suspiciously like the Irene of two decades earlier. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine! Norma Shearer as a "lady in tights"...who escapes from the honky-tonks into the rich world a Munitions King can give her! Clark Gable, the man in her life, whom she loved and left...and whom she finds again. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Esperanto

Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Idiot's Delight See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,519,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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

When Clark Gable had to sing "Puttin' on the Ritz," he actually had to be carried off by the women of Les Blondes, so they saved that scene for last in case he was injured. On the day of the shooting Carole Lombard came to watch and was amazed that it only took one take. See more »

Goofs

Shearer is wearing shear hose while she is standing in the wings preparing to go-on and when we see her again in Gable's dressing room. But the flying Fellara girls are wearing darker, solid colored tights while performing their act. See more »

Quotes

Harry: I have a great admiration for you.
Irene: Oh, you like my electrical personality, huh?
Harry: No, nothing as obvious as that. I think you have a very remarkable brain!
Irene: So, you noticed that too, hmm?
Harry: I also have a very remarkable brain.
Irene: Yeah, and a very remarkable way of talking for a girl who makes her living swinging by her teeth.
Harry: Why, I was born for excitement, adventure, danger. I've had all the - I'll have a lot more before I come to a violent death.
Irene: So you've even got that arranged.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The six actresses who play Les Blondes are not credited with individual character names. Instead, they are credited using the group character name "Harry Van's Les Blondes" followed by a list of the six actresses names. This appears on a separate title card after the cast list of the other credited roles. See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM filmed two endings for this film: one for American audiences and another, more spiritual and optimistic ending for International audiences because of the war clouds that were gathering in Europe. See more »

Connections

Featured in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Big Parade of Hits for 1940 (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(uncredited)
Music by Shelton Brooks
Played briefly during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

This movie is the best
18 April 2001 | by ddenningSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite movies. Norma Shearer is incredible in this film. Norma in those Adrian gowns camping it up to the hilt. Who could ask for more? See it if you get the chance. This movie is right up there with the likes of "Red Dust" and "Cain and Mabel".


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