Thursday, October 03, 2019

The Emperor Waltz (1948)

Bright Technicolor musical comedy set in 1905 Austria. Bing Crosby is a brash American traveling salesman determined to sell the Emperor Franz Joseph on his new gramophone, and with the emperor's endorsement, corner the market in Austria. His priorities change when he strikes up a romance with the Countess Johanna (Joan Fontaine), but the expected complications ensue when their class differences threaten to keep them apart.

The Brackett & Wilder script, bolstered by gorgeous Technicolor cinematography, lavish settings (including some scenic location work with Alberta, Canada standing in for the Alps), and a fine cast -- topped by Crosby and Fontaine as the appealing leads, supported by Richard Haydn, Roland Culver, Lucile Watson and Sig Ruman -- make this one a delight.

In his interview with Cameron Crowe, director Billy Wilder said he didn't think too highly of this film. It may not have been one of its director's favorites, but see it for yourself!