Are you thinking about the weekend yet? Are you looking for something fun to do at home with your family? My husband discovered a gem of a movie the other night: The Emperor Waltz, directed by Billy Wilder. He taped it for me and we’ve been watching it together.
If you are a Wilder fan, as we are, then you know about Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment and Some Like it Hot. The Emperor Waltz is different; a light-hearted romance. A vehicle to show off Bing Crosby’s beautiful baritone, it tells the tale of a commoner (Mr. Crosby) an American salesman, and a Viennese countess (played by Joan Fontaine ) They own a mutt and a dog whose bloodlines go back centuries. respectively. You can guess where this one is going.
Yes, the plot is predictable but the story is so sweet, so charming that I would encourage you to rent the DVD, grab some popcorn and gather your whole family around to see it.
Wilder, who died in 2002 at age 95, was a Viennese Jew who was working in Berlin as a screenwriter when Hitler came to power. He fled to the United States and eventually blessed us all with a large body of film as one of Hollywood’s greatest and most successful directors. He won six Oscars.
Film critics consider The Emperor Waltz an exception to Wilder’s fabulous career. That is a bit unfair. We love the movie. I couldn’t find any clips from the movie online. Instead, here’s a clip of Mr. Crosby singing “Swinging on a Star.”