After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »
A wealthy banker throws his wife's expensive fur coat off the roof of a building; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.
When song-and-dance man Harry Van returns from World War I, he finds work hard to come by. His greatest success comes as straight man in a phony vaudeville mind-reading act with the tipsy Madame Zulieka. While on tour in Omaha he meets acrobat Irene Fellara, and they have a brief romance. Twenty years later while Harry is on tour in Europe with a troupe of leggy blonde dancers, his train is stopped at the Swiss border and he finds himself stranded in the Alps in anticipation of World War II hostilities. Harry and his chorines take refuge in an Alpine hotel with a group of disparate travelers who are also marooned there. Among them are an American pacifist, British newlyweds, a cancer researcher, a German munitions manufacturer, and a beautiful blonde expatriate Russian aristocrat who looks suspiciously like the Irene of two decades earlier.Written by
Imagine! Norma Shearer as a "lady in tights"...who escapes from the honky-tonks into the rich world a Munitions King can give her! Clark Gable, the man in her life, whom she loved and left...and whom she finds again. See more »
Idiot's Delight (1939) served as the basis of the stage musical "Dance a Little Closer" (book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Charles Strouse). Directed by Lerner and starring Len Cariou and Liz Robertson, it opened in New York on May 11, 1983, closing the same night. See more »
When Gable and Shearer are in the diner the year is 1919, right after the war. The song played in the background is "You Were Meant for Me" which was not written until 1929. See more »
I told you then that I wasn't everybody. It's true; I'm nobody. But I learned it was no use telling the truth to people whose life was a whole lie.
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The six actresses who play Les Blondes are not credited with individual character names. Instead, they are credited using the group character name "Harry Van's Les Blondes" followed by a list of the six actresses names. This appears on a separate title card after the cast list of the other credited roles. See more »
MGM filmed two endings for this film: one for American audiences and another, more spiritual and optimistic ending for International audiences because of the war clouds that were gathering in Europe. See more »
When watching "Idiot's Delight", one needs to remember that it was released in 1939, the year WWII began in Europe and before the U.S. entered the conflict. Audiences did not know how long the war would last or that the U.S. would send its troops or that millions would die including so many civilians targeted by Hitler.
The film is adapted by Robert E. Sherwood from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which involves a variety of characters who are forced to wait in a Swiss hotel at the beginning of hostilities until the authorities allow them to cross the borders. The play did not include the portion of the film that precedes the hotel scenes.
With the earlier scenes, which include the relationship between Harry Van (Clark Gable) and Irene Fellara (Norma Shearer), the film lacks the central mystery of the play--is the Russian aristocrat Harry meets in the hotel the same woman (Irene) he met in Omaha, as he believes?
The other hotel guests include a pacifist activist, a German munitions manufacturer, and a honeymooning British couple. The proclamation of war has certain impacts on all their lives. But still, the future is very uncertain. The author "warns" the audience, through dialogue, that history has taught us war should never be trivialized by predictions of a quick resolution.
Despite the dark prospect of impending war, the film is a light-hearted comedy until the ending. The domestic film has a very different ending than the international release. TCM shows both endings, for contrast. The domestic ending seems appropriate, given the date of its release. The international ending seems almost prescient from today's point of view, but to a viewer in 1939, it would feel appropriately solemn.
Shearer's performance needs to be recognized as a parody of Garbo to be appreciated. She must have had fun with the accent and affectation.
The strength or weakness of the ending, including the lack of drama involved in the verification of the Russian woman's identity, might be points of discussion, but I think it could have been stronger.
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