The first musical film, which is about to be reviewed in this blog, is based on an operetta by the same name: THAT LADY IN ERMINE (1948).
In an nutshell:
Italy in 1861: 300 years ago Countess Francesca (lovely Betty Grable) saved her castle and her folks by seducing and stabbing an adversary officer. Now her look-alike great-great-great-great-granddaughter Angelina (Betty Grable in a double role) marries Mario (most attractive: Cesar Romero), a baron she knows since their childhood. In their wedding night the castle is charged by the Hungarian army, lead by Colonel Teglash (handsome Douglas Fairbanks, jr.). Mario disguises himself as a gypsy, but is soon caught by the Hungarians. While the Colonel occupies the castle, he and Angelina get attracted to each other, though her sense of duty (as a sovereign and wife) doesn't allow her to give in. So her ancestor Francesca has to interfere...
Watch out for:
Walter Abel as Horvath - even if you have no memory for names: this one you will learn immediatetly. - and Reginald Gardiner as Alberto, Francesca's husband.
- Ernst Lubitsch died shortly after filming was started of a heart attack and the film was completed under direction of Otto Preminger, who insisted that Lubitsch should receive sole credit.
- The operetta was filmed twice before: In 1927 as THE LADY IN ERMINE starring Corinne Griffith and Einar Hanson and in 1930 with Walter Pidgeon and Vivienne Segal - then movie than was called BRIDE OF THE REGIMENT.
- The song "This is the moment" - music by Friedrich Hollaender (credited as Frederick Hollander), words by Leo Robin - was nominated for an acadamy award but lost to "Buttons and Bows" (from THE PALEFACE) by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.
- Otto Preminger wasn't very fond of the story and the movie.
- Ernst Lubitsch wanted Jeanette MacDonald for the female lead.
- 20th Century Fox chief of production Darryl F. Zanuck prefered Gene Tierney and for the male lead Rex Harrison or Cornel Wilde.
My favourite characters:
Scene to see:
Mario, as a gypsy, reading palms. Cesar Romero is hilarious!
I am a sucker for anything concerning nightwear: So I'll go for Betty Grable's negligees and her dressing robe - plus that little box on the piano: I have a friends who just loves boxes.
If you saw the film this quote sticks in your mind forever: "Horvath!"
A lovely little movie, which doesn't make anyone thinking to hard. Silly little tricks like the sun acting as if it was a cartoon sun and some really good special effects. And of course: you'll see Betty Grable's famous legs - insured for $ 1,000,000! And all brought to you in glorious Technicolor!! :")
Goodbye - I'll go and watch another movie or this one again?
"I don't care if he'll get shot or you'll get shot or I'll get slightly wounded."