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Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
USA 1934


One of the greatest of the screen operattas. After a smashing debut in Austria, Franz Lehar's operetta "The Merry Widow" was brought to the US in 1907, became a silent two-reeler in 1912, then, in 1925, Erich von Stroheim directed Mae Murray and John Gilbert in an opulent, controversial version in which Clark Gable appeared as an extra. This version, however, is by far the best of the lot. Jeanette MacDonald, at the peak of her career, is Sonia, an immensely wealthy widow whose spending keeps the small country of Marshovia afloat economically. When she decides to move to Paris to find a suitable husband, the king (George Barbier) dispatches Danilo (Maurice Chevalier), whom he has caught dallying with Queen Dolores (Una Merkel), to the City of Light to woo the widow and bring her home.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: October 11th, 1934

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DVD Review: IVC - Region 2 - NTSC

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Distribution IVC - Region 2 - NTSC
Runtime 1:38:30 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.81 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles Japanese (burned-in)

Release Information:
Studio: IVC

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

•  none 

DVD Release Date:
January 27th, 2012
Keep Case
Chapters: 7



First of all - absolute masterpiece film. A joyous Lubitsch gem.

Yes, probably from VHS or similar - and quite weak - single-layered, interlaced and shows some damage.  My friend, Frank - who informed me of this release said in email '...there's a passage of about twenty minutes where the playback head isn't well aligned, with lots of moire.' (thanks Frank!) - I concur. There was another poor quality DVD available HERE and a Spanish DVD (with removable subtitle HERE) - there maybe others but nothing of an official nature yet.

The Japanese subtitles are burned-in and the audio is predictably as weak as the video. No extras.

Still loved it and will cherish this DVD until a real one, HOPEFULLY, comes along one day. I guess there is no viable source or it requires restoration and/or is missing scenes. What a shame. Not surprisingly, Lubitsch fans may still wish to indulge in this.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution IVC - Region 2 - NTSC

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