The Merry Widow (1925 film)
|The Merry Widow|
|Directed by||Erich von Stroheim|
|Produced by||Erich von Stroheim
Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
|Written by||Erich von Stroheim
|Based on||The Merry Widow
by Franz Lehár
Victor Léon (libretto)
Leo Stein (libretto)
|Music by||William Axt (uncredited)
David Mendoza (uncredited)
Franz Lehár (non-original music)
|Cinematography||Oliver T. Marsh
William H. Daniels
|Edited by||Frank E. Hull
Margaret Booth (uncredited)
|August 26, 1925|
|Box office||$1.5 million|
The Merry Widow is a 1925 American silent romantic drama/black comedy film directed and written by Erich von Stroheim. Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film stars Mae Murray, John Gilbert and Roy D'Arcy. The film is based on the Franz Lehár's opera of the same name and was the second adaptation of the opera, the first being released in Hungary in 1918. Joan Crawford and Clark Gable also had uncredited roles in the film.
Prince Danilo falls in love with dancer Sally O'Hara. His uncle, King Nikita I of Monteblanco forbids the marriage because she is a commoner. Thinking she has been jilted by her prince, Sally marries old, lecherous Baron Sadoja, whose wealth has kept the kingdom afloat. When he dies suddenly, Sally must be wooed all over again by Danilo.
- Mae Murray ... Sally O'Hara
- John Gilbert ... Prince Danilo Petrovich
- Roy D'Arcy ... Crown Prince Mirko
- Josephine Crowell ... Queen Milena
- George Fawcett ... King Nikita I
- Tully Marshall ... Baron Sixtus Sadoja
- Edward Connelly ... Baron Popoff (ambassador)
Selected cast that were uncredited:
- Helen Howard Beaumont.. Chorus girl
- Gertrude Bennett.. Hard-Boiled Virginia
- Bernard Berger.. Boy
- Sidney Bracey ... Danilo's footman
- Estelle Clark ... French barber
- Albert Conti ... Danilo's adjutant
- D'Arcy Corrigan ... Horatio
- Joan Crawford ... Extra
- Xavier Cugat ... Orchestra leader
- Anielka Elter ... Blindfolded musician
- Dale Fuller ... Sadoja's chambermaid
- Clark Gable ... Ballroom dancing extra
Upon its release, the film was both a critical and box office success. Critics praised Murray's dramatic skills while also noting that von Stroheim had "made an actress out of Miss Murray". The film made a profit of $758,000.
- Quigley Publishing Company "The All Time Best Sellers", International Motion Picture Almanac 1937-38 (1938) p 942 accessed 19 April 2014
- Variety film review; September 2, 1925, page 36.
- Harrison's Reports film review; September 12, 1925, page 147.
- "Cinema", TIME, September 14, 1925
- Ankerich, Michael G. (2012). Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 166–168. ISBN 0-813-14038-2.
- Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 99