The Merry Widow
Color/B&W : Ten reels / 10,027 feet
Directed by Erich von Stroheim + [Monta Bell]
Cast: Mae Murray [Sally O’Hara], John Gilbert [Prince Danilo Petrovitch], Roy D’Arcy [Crown Prince Mirko], George Fawcett [King Nikita I of Monteblanco], Josephine Crowell [Queen Milena], Tully Marshall [Baron Sixtus Sadoja], Count Albert Conti [Danilo’s adjutant], Sidney Bracey [Danilo’s footman], Don Ryan [Mirko’s adjutant], Hughie Mack [the innkeeper], Ida Moore [the innkeeper’s wife], Lucille van Lent [the innkeeper’s daughter], Charles Margelis [Flo Epstein, “Manhattan Follies” director], Harvey Karels [Jimmy Watson], Edna Tichenor [‘Dopey’ Marie], Gertrude Bennett [‘Hard-Boiled’ Virginia], Zalla Zarana [‘Frenchie’ Christine], Jacqueline Gadsdon [Madonna], Estelle Clark [Danilo’s French barber], D’Arcy Corrigan [Horatio], Clara Wallucks [a Hansen sister], Frances Primm [a Hansen sister], Zack Williams [George Washington White], Louise Hughes [chorus girl], Anna Maynard [chorus girl], Helen Howard Beaumont [chorus girl], Beatrice O’Brien [chorus girl], Eugene Pouget [François, keeper of a maison de rendezvous], Edward Connelly [Baron Popoff], Meriwyn Thayer [his wife], George Nichols [doortender at François’], Dale Fuller [Sally’s maid at Sadoja’s], Lon Poff [Sadoja’s valet]; Wilhelm von Brincken [Danilo’s aide-de-camp], Anielka Elter [a blindfolded musician at François’], Carolynne Snowden
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation production; distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation. / Produced by Erich von Stroheim. Scenario by Erich von Stroheim, from the stage adaptation by Henry W. Savage of the operetta Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) by Franz Lehár with libretto by Leo Stein (Leo Rosenstein) and Victor Léon (Victor Hirschfeld), derived from the farce play The Attaché by Henri Meilhac and the play Le Petite ville by Louis Baptiste Picard. Script consultant, Benjamin Glazer. Art direction by Cedric Gibbons and Richard Day. Costume supervision by Erich von Stroheim and Richard Day. Assistant directors, Edward Sowders (Eddy Sowders) and Louis Germonprez. Cinematography by William Daniels and Oliver Marsh [?] + [Ben Reynolds]? Technicolor cinematography by Ray Rennahan. Intertitles by [?] Marian Ainslee and/or Don Ryan? and Erich von Stroheim. Edited by Frank E. Hull and Margaret Booth + [Irving Thalberg]. Original music score by David Mendoza and Doctor William Axt, after the operetta music by Franz Lehár. / Premiered 26 August 1925 at the Embassy Theatre in New York, New York. Released 30 August 1925. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format. Technicolor two-strip color process sequences. / The production was shot in 12 weeks at a cost of $275,000. Monta Bell briefly replaced Stroheim as director. The prerelease version of the film was edited to approximately 14,000 feet.
Synopsis: Synopsis available in Weinberg-Stroheim pp. 141-142.
Survival status: Print exists.
Current rights holder: (unknown)
Keywords: Color cinematography - Death - Royalty: Kings, Princes, Queens
Listing updated: 20 July 2009.
References: Basten-Technicolor p. 169; Bohn-Light p. 87; Brownlow-Parade p. 417; Carroll-Matinee p. 141; Eames-MGM p. 27; Everson-American pp. 13, 286, 187, 290, 363; Fell-History pp. 114, 115, 116, 118; FilmYearBook-1926 pp. 31, 47; Keylin-NYTimes p. 22; Lahue-Gentlemen p. 100; Leish-Cinema p. 51; Limbacher-Feature p. 158; Quirk-Swanson p. 213; Shipman-Cinema p. 86; Sinyard-Silent p. 124; Vermilye-Twenties pp. 114-116, 144; Walker-Garbo p. 46; Weaver-Twenty p. 143; Weinberg-Stroheim pp. xii, xiii, xvi, 135-175, 257 : ClasIm-240 p. 44; ClasIm-330 p. 46.
Home video: DVD.