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Idiot's Delight (1939) - movie overview

Idiot's Delight (1939)

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Running Time
1 hour, 47 minutes

Country USA

Studio MGM

More info on IMDb.com

Other Titles
• Idiot's Delight



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Genre: Comedy, Musical, Tear Jerker, Love, Political, World War II

Plot: This exceptional political comedy, based on Robert Sherwood's Pultizer Prize-winning play, stars Clark Gable as Harry Van, a small-time vaudeville performer who, after years of touring vaudeville circuits and sideshows, has finally hit the big time in Europe with his all-girl review, Les Blondes. On the eve of WWII, Harry and his girls are temporarily detained at an Alpine resort with a very eccentric group of characters brought together under extreme circumstances. Two of the guests at the resort are millionaire Achille Weber (Edward Arnold) and his slinky Russian mistress, who claims to be a wealthy aristocrat. Harry knows better; he recognizes the pretty blonde as Irene Fellara (Norma Shearer), a small-town girl with big dreams whom he had met years earlier while performing in Omaha. After some amusing bantering back and forth and numerous denials on her part, he finally gets Irene to admit the truth. Irene had always dreamed of becoming a wealthy countess, but Harry convinces her that her act is a sham as they wait to discover their fate. With the war erupting around them, Harry and Irene fight to stay together. This fast-paced comedy is most remembered for Gable's song-and-dance routine to "Puttin' on the Ritz," the only time he sang and danced in a movie.

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 Directed by
Clarence Brown
National Velvet, The Yearling, Anna Karenina
 Written by
Robert E. Sherwood
The Best Years of Our Lives, The Preacher's Wife, The Petrified Forest
 Cast
Norma Shearer
The Women, He Who Gets Slapped, Marie Antoinette
Clark Gable
Gone with the Wind, It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty
Edward Arnold
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can't Take It with You, Meet John Doe
Charles Coburn
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Lady Eve, The Paradine Case
Joseph Schildkraut
The Shop Around the Corner, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Life of Emile Zola
Burgess Meredith
Rocky, Rocky III, Rocky II
Laura Hope Crews
Gone with the Wind, Camille, The Sisters
[more]
 Music By
Herbert Stothart
A Night at the Opera, Mutiny on the Bounty, Mrs. Miniver



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