That Lady in Ermine

1948, USA, Language: English, Subtitle: Hungarian (89'); Screening: 09.06, 20.00, Toldi Cinema, Kisterem

Ernst Lubitsch’s film is not a musical but operetta: it has a Gypsy first violinist (Mario), Hungarian hussar officer, distinguished families, ups and downs in love and disappointments. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. himself portrayed the dashing hussar officer going by the name of Károly Téglásh, he falls in love with the Countess of Bergamo, so one could believe that it is the work of a Hungarian, although the screenplay was actually written by Samson Raphaelson, author of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer. Its basis is the little-known Hungarian-Austrian music work by the little-known composers Schanzer and Welish. However, the denouement is not exactly operetta-like: the way that Angelina and her lover dance on the table in the dream sequence, the stab, the way they find each other, these are more surreal than dainty.

Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger
Written by: Rudolph Schanzer, Ernst Welisch (operetta)
Screenplay by: Samson Raphaelson             
Director of photography: Leon Shamroy
Music by: Alfred Newman, Cyril J. Mockridge
Cast: Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cesar Romero, Walter Abel, Reginald Gardiner, Harry Davenport
Genre: comedy, musical
Production: Twentieth Century Fox
Format: colour, 1.37: 1