The Smiling Lieutenant

Critics Consensus

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88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 453
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Movie Info

A simple wink, intended by Austrian palace guard Lt. Nikolaus von Preyn (Maurice Chevalier) for girlfriend, Franzi (Claudette Colbert), is accidentally intercepted -- and misread -- by the visiting Princess Anna (Miriam Hopkins). As a result, the soldier has no choice but to marry the royal lady and move with her to the neighboring kingdom of Flausenthurm. His girlfriend follows to continue the romance and, subversively, give Princess Anna tips on how to keep her husband satisfied.

Cast & Crew

Maurice Chevalier
Lt. Nikolaus "Niki" von Preyn
Miriam Hopkins
Princess Anna
George Barbier
King Adolf XV
Hugh O'Connell
Niki's Orderly
Robert Strange
Col. Rockoff (uncredited)
Lon MacSunday
Emperor (uncredited)
Janet Reade
Lily (uncredited)
Elizabeth Patterson
Baroness von Schwedel (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant

  • Mar 31, 2016
    I'll be honest, Claudette Colbert is very cute and she made this movie for me. The plot has a somewhat dippy Maurice Chevalier marrying a Princess (Miriam Hopkins) to avoid an international incident, thus breaking his lover's (Colbert's) heart. When she arranges to meet up with him anyway, she's caught by Hopkins, and after a mutual, (hilariously overwrought) cry, she tells Hopkins (in song) that in order to keep Chevalier, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie". The movie is pre-Code which made scenes like that possible, as well as allude to unmarried sex between Colbert and Chevalier, and Hopkins's desire to consummate her marriage. This naughtiness is also part of the movie's charm. It's interesting that the movie wrong-foots us by having the 'wrong girl' get the man. A big hit in 1931 and nominated by the Academy for Best Picture, it's still very watchable 85 years later.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2014
    I absolutely love Chevalier pictures. They are tremendously silly but they have a riske element to them that is delightful. Colbert and Chevalier have fantastic chemistry.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    I really enjoyed this movie, it was hilarious. Sure, it's got a pretty normal romance going on, but it is one of those comedies with a lot of mistakes that turn out very funny. The cast is great too, I loved Chevalier and Colbert and Hopkins together as the love triangle. If you like them or just enjoy romantic comedies, I recommend this.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2012
    i'm not a huge fan of operetta or chevalier but they both won me over here and we can thank herr lubitsch for that. i do have some issues with the film, namely the extreme madonna-whore complex and the ending but the rest is such a delight it's hard to get too upset over. miriam hopkins and claudette colbert are adorable, despite reports they were at each other's throats during filming
    Stella D Super Reviewer

The Smiling Lieutenant Quotes

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