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.

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7.6/10
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  • Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • Tyrone Power and Norma Shearer in Marie Antoinette (1938)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 January 2003 | ayokum
Empathy defined
It never ceases to amaze me at how completely I might be suddenly drawn into the emotional moment of a film by the power of the actor. Usually the strongest ones come suddenly, and without warning, giving you no time to put up defenses. Brando's eruptions of moods when talking to his dead wife in Last Tango in Paris is probably the most dramatic example of this. (His greatest scene ever, that I have witnessed) But before that, Norma Shearer's panic and utter emotional breakdown when the guards come to take her son from her in the prison, is overwhelming and complete. Anyone who is not genuinely moved to the core by this incredible performance, either sleeps or does not possess those human sensitivities that are torn by the loss of a child. For it is not sympathy that is evoked, but an empathy called forth by the raw, human agony of the suffering before you. Years later when I visited the actual site in Paris where that tragedy would have taken place, I experienced a time of respect and reflection such as I have never had in any other place in the world that I have visited.

This is one of the truly great films. If you want to find out how deeply someone can feel, show it to them and observe. Norma Shearer set a standard I fear has been forgotten, as evidenced by the way tinsel town hands out awards today for mediocre work pushed onto the modern consciousness by glitzy ad campaigns and self-serving accolades.

Critic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

Irving Thalberg originally planned for Charles Laughton to play the role of Louis XVI with wife Elsa Lanchester as Princess de Lamballe. Norma Shearer's pregnancy was the first of many postponements, and when the film was finally made, the Laughtons were no longer associated with it.


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

The stately minuet heard at the lavish ball sequence hosted by the Duc D'Orleans at Versailles, is from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, which was composed in 1787. A few moments after the Minuet ends, King Louis XV arrives. He died in 1774 and therefore, this music could not possibly have been played at such an event as it had yet to be written.


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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