The Merry Widow | Chicago Reader

The Merry Widow

Irving Thalberg pruned four of Erich von Stroheim's more scabrous reels from this 1925 production, and it went on to become a huge hit—Stroheim's last. The Lehar operetta, stripped of its score, becomes a pimple-scratching satire on rotting aristocracy, with John Gilbert as the prince and Mae Murray as the American actress he marries. The cinematography—beautiful, overripe, a little decadent in itself—is the work of William Daniels, Oliver Marsh, and Ben Reynolds. 137 min.

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