The Great Waltz (1938)


“Something difficult and honest had to be said, and it was just like you to say it.” – Johann ‘Schani’ Strauss II

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Story of how the famed composer Johann Strauss went from being a simple banker to one of the most popular composers.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I knew nothing about (or even heard about for that matter) before coming across it during my recent quest to watch all films that have received acting Oscar nominations.

The story itself is told in a pretty bland way and things come across quite borishly.

The characters aren’t developed very well and this hurts things since we can’t feel any connection to them along the way.

The best part of this film is the music and cinematography.

We get to hear some great Waltz music that was composed by Strauss and the way that they choreographed the dance scenes is done exceptionally well.

Luise Rainer and Fernand Gravet are both ok here in the lead roles of the Strauss’.

Miliza Korjus was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress as a famed Opera singer who befriends the Strauss’.

In addition, this film won an Oscar for it’s Cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg for the amazing way that he filmed the ballroom dancing scenes.

Bottom Line – Pretty tame biographical film. The characters aren’t developed very well and this makes things quite boring along the way. The music is the best part of this film and it allows us to hear some of the great Waltz music composed by Strauss. Rainer and Gravet are both fine in the lead roles. Korjus was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work on this film. In addition, the cinematography of this film is amazingly shot and the dance scenes are choreographed really well.  Cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg won an Oscar for his work here since it looks great even if the story itself is far from engaging.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Toscha Seidel, the Russian virtuoso violinist, was hired especially to dub the solos on the soundtrack for Johann Strauss (Fernand Gravey) and began a new career working as a concert master at MGM and other studios. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “The Great Waltz (1938)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1938 | MovieRob

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