The Merry Widow

Von Stroheim approached Lehar's operetta with an appetite for the sordid underside of Central European social life. Unfortunately, MGM recut the film to exclude its famous orgy scenes shot on closed sets. Long languishing in the vaults, The Merry Widow was revived at the 1969 New York Film Festival, where it received great praise. Richard Koszarski, in Film Quarterly, notes “What emerges is a delightfully cynical von Stroheim essay on ‘true love' with a number of delightful Stroheim characters, including the degenerate foot fetishist Baron Sadoja and a mise-en-scene that is truly Stroheimesque.”

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