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The Merry Widow (1952 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Merry Widow
Directed byCurtis Bernhardt
Written byVictor Léon (libretto)
Leo Stein (libretto)
Sonya Levien
William Ludwig
Based onDie lustige Witwe
1905 operetta
by Franz Lehár
Produced byJoe Pasternak
StarringLana Turner
Fernando Lamas
CinematographyRobert Surtees
Edited byConrad A. Nervig
Music byJay Blackton (uncredited)
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
September 5, 1952 (1952-09-05)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,500,000[1][2]

The Merry Widow is a 1952 American film adaptation of the 1905 operetta of the same name by Franz Lehár. It starred Lana Turner (whose singing voice was dubbed by Trudy Erwin) and Fernando Lamas.

The film received two Oscar nominations: for Best Art Direction - Set Decoration, Color (Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Arthur Krams) and Best Costume Design, Color.[3] Paul Francis Webster provided revised lyrics for a greatly abridged score of the operetta conducted by Jay Blackton.

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At a New Year's Eve party in 1899, the King of Marshovia, a small European country with financial difficulty, dispatches Marshovia's ambassador to the United States to invite a young, rich widow, Crystal Radek, to Marshovia for the unveiling of a statue in honor of her deceased husband, Charlie, a Marshovian native. The king's underlying reason is to access her wealth for the nation's coffers; and, he sends out Count Danilo hoping the count can woo her. Crystal and her secretary, Kitty Riley, arrive without anyone receiving them; but, they see Count Danilo singing and dancing with the townspeople. Crystal and Kitty report to the palace. The king directs the count sing as Crystal stands in the balcony window of her bedroom, and she is impressed. The count, a ladies' man, is not interested in settling down; but, the king orders otherwise. Count Danilo calls on Crystal, but leaves after thinking Kitty is Crystal. Crystal discovers she was invited because of her wealth, and begins packing for her return to America. However, she remains attracted to Danilo. Because of Danilo's mistake, the two ladies allow Kitty to assume Crystal's identity as the widow Radek. Crystal attends a party where she meets Danilo who is immediately attracted to her. Crystal says her name is "Fifi" and feigns ignorance of who he is. They go to his upstairs living quarters but Crystal angrily chides Danilo for his lecherous manner and walks out. She then returns, apologizes, and they profess their love for each other. Crystal leaves without Danilo knowing where "Fifi" lives. As Danilo searches for "Fifi," Crystal wants to be sure Danilo loves her for herself and not for her wealth. Danilo finds her, but because of his orders from the king to woo the widow, he refuses to commit himself to "Fifi." Crystal reveals her true identity to the count, but because of their mutual deception toward each other, the couple separates. The king says "heads will roll" because of this. Crystal, however, pays off the nation's debt and intends to leave. No longer forced to woo Crystal, Danilo still professes his love for her and the couple reunites.


Gwen Verdon and Matt Mattox performed specialty dances choreographed by Jack Cole.


According to MGM records, the film made $2,232,000 in the US and Canada and $2,268,000 overseas resulting in a profit of $27,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ See also 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954 and 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  3. ^ "NY Times: The Merry Widow". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2008-12-21.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 April 2023, at 09:49
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