Waltzes from Vienna (1933)

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Movie Info

Anxious to finish off his contract with British International Pictures, Alfred Hitchcock agreed to direct Waltzes from Vienna, a schmaltzy musical about "waltz king" Joseph Strauss and his son Joseph Jr. Edmund Gwenn stars as the elder Strauss, with Esmond Knight as his talented progeny. The crux of the film is the intense rivalry between the two Strausses, which is somehow resolved by the inaugural performance of Joseph Junior's "The Blue Danube." Displeased with his work in this film, Hitchcock at one point threw up his hands and confessed to his actors "I hate this sort of stuff. Melodrama is the only thing I can do." Hitch regarded Waltzes in Vienna and his silent Champagne as his worst films, and never directed anything like them again.

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Critic Reviews for Waltzes from Vienna

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

It exhibits little of the technical ingenuity which the Hitchcock name might lead us to expect. But it does not diminish the loveliness of "The Blue Danube" and it suspires amiably against its nineteenth century appointments.

Jun 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Dull costume drama directed by a young Alfred Hitchcock during what he has called "the lowest ebb" of his career.

Jun 2, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

This anomaly of a musical biopic is one of Hitchcock's few weak films that even he did not like.

Mar 8, 2013 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The perception of it as a fumbled trifle is dismissed as soon as Hitchcock lays out the artist's dilemma, the kind that would keep hounding him: "Either you're a musician, or a confectioner."

Mar 20, 2012 | Full Review…

A soppy, ineffectual musical.

Mar 20, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Waltzes from Vienna

A Brit musical. By Alfred Hitchcock, no less? Yes, a leap, I know, but the story about how a younger Strauss was inhibited by the elder does have its merits, the main of which is the triumphant reveal of the Blue Danube to its Austrian audience for the first time. There are no surprises, true, but Hitchcock manages to keep the fluff to a minimum, given the genre.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

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