The Merry Widow (1952)

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The Merry Widow (1952) Poster

Operating under royal orders, a count must woo a young and wealthy widow in order to save a kingdom from bankruptcy.



  • Lana Turner in The Merry Widow (1952)
  • Lana Turner in The Merry Widow (1952)
  • Lana Turner in The Merry Widow (1952)
  • Fernando Lamas in The Merry Widow (1952)
  • Lana Turner and Fernando Lamas in The Merry Widow (1952)
  • Lana Turner and Fernando Lamas in The Merry Widow (1952)

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27 February 2010 | Michael_Elliott
MGM's Third Version
Merry Widow, The (1952)

** (out of 4)

MGM's third attempt at the famous operetta by Franz Lehar probably has the biggest budget but it's lacking quite a bit from the much better 1925 and 1934 versions. This time out a wealthy widow (Lana Turner) is brought to a small country where the government there hopes she will spend her time and money. They hire the good looking Count Danilo (Fernando Lamas) to try and win her over. There's quite a bit to admire in this film but in the end it really left me bored, unattached and rather disappointed. It's very clear from the opening shot that MGM gave director Bernhardt a pretty big budget as the Technicolor really jumps off the screen as does the art direction and set design. Everything visually is striking here as the color really adds an entire dimension to the film and it really helps put you in this era and time. The sets are also quite lavish as we get some really amazing looking ballrooms and other settings that almost make this film worth watching. The costumes are another major plus as it really does seem like it took weeks just to place the extras in order so that the colors of their costumes would just bleed together and be perfectly captured by the cameras. If you just want some great looking eye candy then this film is a must see but the rest of the movie left me wanting a lot more. For starters, I found both Turner and Lamas to be very bland and boring in their roles and I didn't feel a single spark between them. I know Turner was going through some major issues at this point of her life so perhaps this took something away from her but I didn't find anything she did here to be very entertaining. Lamas certainly had the right look for the role but I never really cared for anything he was saying or doing. Una Merkel, a member of the 1934 version, has a few good moments here but not enough to save the film.

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