Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Marie Antoinette (1938) Poster

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.


7.4/10
2,518

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  • Gladys George and Barnett Parker in Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


14 April 1999 | brisky
One of the best and most sumptuous film biographies of all time.
This film boasts a number of wonderful performances and is a great example of film acting in the thirties and the power of the studios. Robert Morley steals the show as Louis XVI, but equally fine are John Barrymore as the dying Louis XV, Gladys George as Madame du Barry, Joseph Schildkraut as the Duke of Orleans and a whole slew of wonderful character actors who enlivened even the smallest role. Norma Shearer admirably tackles the nearly impossible task of portraying the life of Marie Antoinette from a young girl to a broken woman on her way to the guillotine. In the style of the time, the film has a tendency toward histrionics but for the viewer with patience the overall effect is fascinating. Of special interest to students of art direction. The sets and costumes are incredible.

Critic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

Norma Shearer, in conversations with writer Gavin Lambert (and quoted by Lambert in his biography, "Norma Shearer"), recalled that one of Irving Thalberg's original casting ideas was that of Mrs. Patrick Campbell to play the part of the Countess De Noailles. The role was eventually played by Cora Witherspoon.


Quotes

Marie Antoinette: What can Mama want at this time of night? I was nearly asleep. Is it something I've done, do you think? What did she say? Did she look cross?
Mme. 'Feldy' de Lerchenfeld: Solemn, I thought.
Marie Antoinette: Oh, dear, what can it be? What have I done? She can't say much to me anyway. I'm a grown...


Goofs

When Marie and Louis first wedding anniversary is announced, the bells are heard change-ringing. This requires the bells to completely be rotated by a rope wound on a wheel, and was until the 19th century a strictly English way of ringing bells. The bells shown are swinging from trunnions, in the normal French manner.


Alternate Versions

"Unrestored" film has now been restored and is available on DVD. When the film played the Carthay Circle in Los Angeles and the Astor Theatre in New York as a reserved seat "road show" attraction, the print ran eleven minutes longer than the generally available 149 minute Turner Library print. These eleven minutes contained an overture, entr'acte, and exit music, with an intermission immediately following Antoinette's emotional farewell to Fersen on the steps of Versailles. These remnants of the "road show" presentation have now been restored to the new Warner Bros. Home Video DVD, which runs a little over 157 minutes.


Soundtracks

Orpheus and Euridice
(1762) (uncredited)
Written by
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Excerpts played at the opera

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | History | Romance

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