Watch That Lady in Ermine
- 1 hr 29 min
That Lady in Ermine is a 1948 musical comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and Otto Preminger, and starring Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Cesar Romero. The film is a remake of the 1924 Lubitsch film The Marriage Circle. The story is set in the 19th century in a fictional European principality called Kronberg, which is headed by King August II (Reginald Gardiner). The king's financial troubles lead him to demand that his cousin, Countess Angelina (Betty Grable), marry the wealthy and unpleasant Duke of Trient (Walter Abel) in order to save the kingdom from bankruptcy. However, Angelina is already in love with Captain Mario (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), a handsome army officer, and refuses the match.
As Angelina's situation becomes more dire, she begins to have vivid dreams in which she is transported to different periods in history, each time playing the role of a princess or queen who falls in love with a dashing hero. These dreams provide her with the courage to flirt with Mario and defy the king's wishes.
As the story unfolds, we are treated to a series of lavish musical numbers, including a lively number set at a masked ball, and a romantic duet between Angelina and Mario. The film also features excellent choreography and elaborate costumes, including Grable's iconic pink ermine gown.
The film's cast includes a number of talented performers, including Cesar Romero as Angelina's suave and scheming cousin, and Harry Davenport as the eccentric Count Eggerling, who serves as Angelina's confidante and advisor. The chemistry between Grable and Fairbanks Jr. is palpable, and both actors deliver strong performances.
Despite its enjoyable music and stunning visuals, That Lady in Ermine was not a commercial success, and received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised the film's effervescent charm and whimsical fantasy sequences, while others felt that the story was overly contrived and predictable.
In retrospect, it's clear that That Lady in Ermine was a product of its time, blending the romantic escapism of the golden age of Hollywood with the lavish musical productions of Broadway. Its lightweight storyline and saccharine tone may not appeal to modern audiences, but the film remains an enjoyable relic of a bygone era.
That Lady in Ermine is a 1948 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.