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Mae Murray's Merry Widow


jackpickford1
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It has been a long time since TCM has played Mae Murray's silent version of "The Merry Widow" hasn't it? Something happened when I tried taping it and I did not get the whole movie. TCM will show a later version of "The Merry Widow" different times but never the Mae Murray version. Hopefully this will be re-scheduled one day soon.

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Hi,

 

What do you think of this movie and the acting prowess of Miss Murray and Mr. Gilbert?

I have never seen this whole movie, just two scenes from it, shown at a Paramount tribute to silent film stars many years ago. I sat next to Miss Murray when these two scenes were played and she received a tumultous applause. She was very touched by the response and by George Hamilton's remark to her: "Hey Maisie, you were quite a babe!!".......

But there was no real acting in the clips and I've always wondered whether she and Gilbert were any good.

Let me know what you both think; and any body else, please chime in.......

 

Larry

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Yes it seems every time TCM has scheduled the 1925 version and I tape it they really run the Jeanette MacDonald or Lana Turner version instead. I've never seen this film and would love to.... This film was Murray's last big hit (1925) even though she was around through the early 30s (Bachelor Apartment with Lowell Sherman and Irene Dunne).

 

Mae Murray is another major star whose silent films are mostly lost. She is famous for calling Merry Widow director Erich von Stroheim " thatdirty Hun" during filming. Must have been a fun set! Anyway it was a hit and helped John Gilbert's carrer immensely.

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While the 1925 version of THE MERRY WIDOW is a good movie, well worth seeing, it is probably not one of my top 10 favorite silent films? It also bares little resemblance to the Ernst Lubitsch 1934 sound production.

 

Mae Murray?s character here, is an Irish American dancer ?Sally O?Hara of the New York Follies?. Who?s stage troupe lands at Castellano, the capitol of the Austrian nation of Monte?Blanco. Here she meets up with a Prince Danilo (Gilbert), and his cousin the Crown Prince Mirko. (Roy D?Arcy). Both of whom are notorious womanizers! All though, she believes each of them to be just a couple of members of the Royal Guard.

 

Sally, is soon pursued by these two, as well as a dirty old Count, and none of their intentions towards her are what could be described as strictly honorable! Eventually, Danilo legitimately falls for her, and asks for her hand. The King and Queen, will have none of it of course!

 

What happens next, is a mix-mesh of mis-understanding?s between the two. Believed jilted, poor Sally reluctantly marries the count who is the richest man in all of the kingdom! Needless to say The marriage doesn?t last long! (Hence The Title!)

 

This film is quite long, some two and half hours. Yet it seems to wrap up quite abruptly, towards the end? Undoubtedly, MGM cut quite a bit out after the dueling sequence, before it?s general release? Von Stroheim likely intended the film to run at least another hour than it does!

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I was really bummed too Jackpickford1, when TCM incorrectly listed the wrong ending time for the movie. I don't want to do a commercial for anybody but I will say that the Gagman definely did a great job by converting this movie to DVD. The movie in my opinion is a wonderful showcase for Mae Murray and her bee-stung lips. Not many of Mae's silents exist but with this movie being intact one can get a good sense of what made Mae a bona-fide movie star that got top-billing over even John Gilbert. Of course, much has been said about the foot fetish scenes but that stuff only goes on for a few mintues. I like John Gilbert in everything but I did not care too much for his hair style, it reminds me a little of Bogart's hair in High Sierra. The real standout in the movie is Roy D' Arcy, he plays a very good (if not cliche) villain.

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