• The Great Waltz

    1938. France. Julien Duvivier. 103 min.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 8:00 p.m.


  • The Great Waltz

    1938. France. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Screenplay by Samuel Hoffenstein, Walter Reisch. With Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravet, Miliza Korjus. Duvivier made his Hollywood debut with this opulent MGM musical about the romantic early years of composer Johann Strauss II[, written by the émigrés Gottfried Reinhardt and Samuel Hoffenstein and gorgeously photographed by the Oscar-winning Joseph Ruttenberg. Attempting to capture the lilting rhythms and charms of Strauss's waltzes and operas (set here to lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and performed by the Viennese-born soprano diva Miliza Korjus), Duvivier moved from lavish set piece to lavish set piece, in the café, the garden, the palace, and the opera house—leading one critic to call the film "a symphony in soft focus"—before Josef von Sternberg stepped in to direct the wonderfully kitschy final sequence, the carriage ride through the Viennese woods during which Strauss was inspired by birdsong to write The Blue Danube. Incidentally, The Great Waltz is said to have been a favorite of Stalin's. In French; English subtitles. 103 min.

In the Film exhibition Julien Duvivier

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