THE MERRY WIDOW
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
♪ LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER
(1925) Duel of temperaments, on and off-screen: dictatorial von Stroheim battled both producer Irving Thalberg and willful star Mae Murray, while Murray’s eponymous widow keeps marrying other people to enrage John Gilbert’s Montenegran Prince Danilo. Memorable sequence: the blindfolded, half-naked, orchestra serenading a drunken orgy. Print courtesy Austrian Filmmuseum, Vienna.
"Pleasingly lavish. Stroheim enlivens the proceedings with as much sexual pathology as he can sneak in."
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Has lost none of its bite and visual elegance with the years."
– Georges Sadoul
"Stroheim transformed the Lehár operetta into a revelation of aristocratic decadence, sadism, and moral squalor."
– Richard Koszarski
"Stylish. Stroheim makes everything possible out of the grotesqueries, most notably the baron's foot fetishism."
– Time Out (London)
"Has a lightness of touch and a grace of movement suggesting a presound musical, with an idealized fairy-tale landscape."
– Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film Comment
"The operetta romance is fully indulged: there are lavish sets by Richard Day, and lustrous photography by Ben Reynolds and William Daniels... Stroheim's treatment of the flimsy world in The Merry Widow is scathing and pungent."
– David Thomson