6.6/10
1,132
42 user 8 critic

Idiot's Delight (1939)

A group of disparate travelers are caught and thrown together in a posh Alpine hotel when the borders are closed at the beginning of World War II.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Robert E. Sherwood (play), Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Shearer ... Irene
Clark Gable ... Harry
Edward Arnold ... Achille Weber
Charles Coburn ... Dr. Waldersee
Joseph Schildkraut ... Captain Kirvline
Burgess Meredith ... Quillery
Laura Hope Crews ... Madame Zuleika
Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher ... Donald Navadel (as Skeets Gallagher)
Peter Willes Peter Willes ... Mr. Cherry
Pat Paterson ... Mrs. Cherry
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Dumptsy
Fritz Feld ... Pittatek
Virginia Grey ... Les Blondes - Shirley
Virginia Dale ... Les Blondes - Francine
Paula Stone ... Les Blondes - Beulah
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest Thrill They Ever Gave You! Norma and Clark together in the romance of a "ham" song-and-dance man and a "red-headed liar from Omaha." See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Esperanto

Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az élet komédiása See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,519,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screen between the bar and the hotel lobby is an optical illusion that alternates between a cross and a swastika. See more »

Goofs

Shearer is wearing shear hose while she is standing in the wings preparing to go-on and when we see her again in Gable's dressing room. But the flying Fellara girls are wearing darker, solid colored tights while performing their act. See more »

Quotes

Irene: Do you think we'll ever see each other again?
Harry: Maybe we will and maybe we won't. You can't predict anything in show business.
Irene: Or in any other kind of a life, I suppose.
Harry: No, I guess not. But, I'll be thinking about you, babe.
Irene: Oh, I'm sure you will.
Harry: Yes, and as a matter of fact, I'd like to know that - you're thinking about me a little bit, too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Romance of Celluloid (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Powell
Incorporated into the score in the opening scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Is Norma Shearer a fake, or the real thing?
22 September 1998 | by Pat-54See all my reviews

Norma Shearer and Clark Gable are cast in the roles that Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontaine made famous on the Broadway stage. It is also MGM's last anti-war film before the outbreak of WWII in Europe. A blonde Norma Shearer does a brilliant comic turn as a Russian Countess, and she is matched by Clark Gable, who performs a rendition of "Puttin' on the Ritz."


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