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Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette(1938)

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  • correction of previous review

    • kevin sellers
    • 10/11/17

    Wrote Lionel when I meant John.Hate it when I do that. Don't think LB would have made as good a Luis 15 as his kid brother. Sorry for the mistake.

  • marie antoinette

    • kevin sellers
    • 10/11/17

    Snail paced yet slapdash epic (MGM shoulda sprung for the elegant Rouben Mamoulian as director 'stead of Ol One Take Woody Van Dyke) that is occasionally fun, even less occasionally moving (i.e. two scenes, basically; the execution scene at the end and the great scene where a young Marie learns on her wedding night that she won't be having an ardent relationship with her husband) and too often flat out dull (i.e. the huge swatches of boredom given over to Shearer and Power). I do agree with previous reviewers that Norma Shearer does a very good job interpreting the title character as a kind, materialistic, clueless gal whose main desire in life is to party. Robert Morley is excellent as the doltish but surprisingly strong Louis XVI, and Lionel Barrymore was never better than as the dissolute, cynical Louis XV. His twinge of sensual arousal when he first sees Marie A. shows what an amazingly fine actor this self indulgent gent could be when he wanted to be (Kinda like Brando in that regard). Otherwise it's mostly empty, forgettable stuff with the usual cliche assemblage of court balls, hungry slash angry peasants, passion in the moonlight and escape attempts in coaches. If you want a more provocative, offbeat look at the same subject check out Sofia Coppola's film with Kirsten Dunst who gives Shearer a run for her money, in my humble. Let's give this one a C plus. P.S. Pretty sexually loose for 1938, wouldn't you say? Guess the Hays Office thought as long as you were dealing with a French gal who loses her noggin it was ok to make her a floozie.

  • Forget the Costumes

    • Maria Ramos
    • 11/25/15

    Forget the costumes, it's the acting. Norma Shearer should have won the Oscar! Her performance from beginning to the end was superb. It was the small gestures, the inhalations, the simplistic way she conveyed emotions, a great actress. Being married to Talberg had nothing to do with it. Her talent came from within. Love this movie.

  • score of "Marie Antoinette"

    • constance bongi
    • 11/25/15

    The score to this film was beautiful..The composer, Herbert Stothart, was a great musicologist and studied the periods of all the films he scored. In this film there were moments of great pathos especially regarding the scenes with Marie Antoinette and her little son. The Gregorian chants during the death scenes of the king were especially beautiful because Stothart was a student of early religious music

  • This Movie Get's It Right

    • Kate
    • 11/24/15

    Everyone has written good, detailed reviews of this film. The costumes, the sets, the cast...all top notch. The mood of this film is superb. The cinematography, the editing, the direction, the lighting especially establishes a moody 1770's France. Someone else said the original Marie Antoinette must have paled in comparison to Norma's character...I think not!Marie Antoinette was a genius of taste and design. The movie does her justice but never could any actress' portrayal of her surpass the original woman. Norma definitely deserved the Oscar. The scene when they come to take her son away is the best. Keep your tissues handy; you'll need them!

  • "Let them eat cake"?

    • Elise Lang
    • 11/2/15

    Now that I have seen Norma Shearer's performance, I am certain that Marie Antoinette never said : "Let them eat cake"!

  • GRANDIOSE on steroids!

    • Lucky Wilson
    • 8/25/14

    I suspect the real Madame Antoinette pales in comparison to Norma Shearer's incarnation! A million threads of genius sewn into one dazzling masterwork by old Hollywood artistes. MUST SEE.

  • Incandescent and Irresistible

    • moviefancier
    • 2/13/14

    The tragic story of Marie Antoinette is beautifully rendered in best golden age Hollywood style. Norma Shearer is wonderfully dramatic and literally glows in her love scenes with the breathtaking Tyrone Power who gives a passionate performance as the Queens lover Count Axel Fersen. They make a stunningly romantic pair. Robert Morely gives a finely calibrated and sympathetic performance as King Louis.Such a sad and beautiful movie. A hard story to watch but the wonderful star performances and the production make it irresistible.

  • THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bill
    • 11/16/13

    Miss Shearer is Magnificent...She undoubtedly should have gotten the Best Actress Academy Award for this movie...It is a Tour-De-Force performance....She is Beautiful, and the depth of her craft is shown in this movie,in all of its full range of emotion...Anyone who appreciates Great movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood must see this movie....It is unforgivable that Miss Shearer is not as appreciated today as she was during this the High point of her career.....A Great Performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The greatest female performance ever put on film!

    • Allyson
    • 10/5/12

    I cannot tell you how much I love Norma Shearer in this film. Her acting is believable at every turn. You feel her awkward nervousness when she first arrives at court, her hurt from the tauntings of Du Barry, her shame at Acel Von Fersen's initial opinion of her, her passion for him, and then her terror at the proceedings of the Reign of Terror. One of the most frightening moments ever put on film is Norma's reaction as she looks through a window and we hear the terrified scream of her best friend, Anita Louise, being tortured and killed by the angry mob. I cry every time I watch this film and I wish more people could see it. Norma Shearer, we love you!

  • great editing, well put together

    • Alana M
    • 8/25/12

    A very important story to be told, especially today where we continue the fight against tyranny, against oppressors. Today's Occupy movement is highly like the French Revolution, such an important story

  • A real MGM Masterpiece

    • Jeff Solis
    • 4/1/11

    One of the best films ever produced by MGM. Great story (despite some "Hollywood tinkering to history") and knockout performances by Norma Shearer and Robert Morley and a cast of thousands make this a viewing must. It's a film that gets better every year with repeated viewings and how it didn't nab a "Best Picture" Oscar nomination that year is a real mystery (especially over dated dodos such as "Test Pilot" from MGM). Could be little old Louie B. Mayer didn't want to add more strength to Shearer's cards at the studio (the film was a major triumph for her). Despite being one of top five highest grossing films of the 1930's, MGM says it lost money, but again that could be the hand of L.B. again who was fighting Shearer over Thalberg stock options and profit-percentages. Anyway, it is an MGM classic!

  • Shearer Terrific as is Film

    • Arnold
    • 4/1/11

    One of the best produced and acted "bio-pixs" out of Hollywood. Norma Shearer gives a knockout performance!

  • Vive Hollywood!

    • Marthe De Leon
    • 7/14/10

    This movie encompases everything that is grand and wonderful about the Golden Era of Hollywood. Ms. Shearer is exquisite in every scene. Her portrayal of the young upcoming queen, the difficult adjustment to the crown and her tragic end are acted by Ms Shearer to a tee. She solidifies her status in Hollywood with this role. Tyron Power is the perfect romantic lead and Robert Morley portrays the King of France most exquisitely. If anyone has not seen this movie yet, PLEASE DO!

  • Marie Antoinette (1938)

    • James Higgins
    • 4/17/10

    I probably should not like this film as much as I do, it is melodramatic and there is much fiction involved. However, the production is so grand and the cast so wonderful it is hard not to admire. I have always loved Norma Shearer. She is wonderful in the title role.

  • Marie Antoinette

    • William MacQueen
    • 7/14/08

    What a great movie! The acting was superb and the setting and filming very well-done and entertaining. Quite an emotional story with timeless lessons for any era of life.

  • Cake and more

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 7/14/08

    There's a lot a person could say about Ms. Shearer and this picture. This was the first time I've seen Marie Antoinette, and I was duly impressed. I'd like to say I happily became a fan (of both the movie and its lead actor, as well as the supporting cast). At first I was hesitant...I thought, oh no, this is going to be an over-blown costume epic, a film that was probably trying to exaggerate its own importance. But it really doesn't play that way. Shearer is not exactly subtle, but she's not over-the-top. I agree that the ending of the film is the strongest section, but I also loved the 'Russian' scenes when Marie met Axel. There should be more movies like this today, not because we need to bring back a certain time in American cinema, but because we need to be reminded that life is simple and grand at the same time. This picture captures that perfectly. The only quibble I have about some of the film is that it does seem a bit too American and British to me...I had difficulty believing there was a French or Austrian element. I think the sentimentality could've been muted a bit and if it were remade today, I think more of the execution scenes should be featured, instead of played off-camera. Also, we should've seen the part when the son was forced to testify against his mother. Nonetheless, the entire effort is very memorable. My favorite scene was when Marie was being led to the guillotine and her eyes locked with the peasant woman in the crowd who could empathize with her. Very powerful!

  • Oldies but Goldies

    • Movie buff
    • 6/21/08

    This movie is an absolute classic in the truest sense of the word...The grace and elegance that Norma Shearer exudes is a rare quality in this day and age, I think if more ladys had her elegance we would get A LOT farther in this world. I think this movie seems to fit the bill much better than the more recent story, you felt as though you were going through everything with her, it left me wanting to look up what happened next in the history books...Will watch again and again...

  • A must see masterpiece.

    • Alicia
    • 9/9/07

    Great performances but especially Norma Shearer's & Robert Morley's. Norma Shearer's performances in this movie & 'The Women' made me a fan of hers.

  • A forgotten masterpiece

    • Michael
    • 3/30/07

    One of the greatest films of all time, without a doubt. Norma Shearer's Marie Antoinette deserves better remebrance as a cinematic masterpiece.


    • Kenton Bymaster
    • 10/11/06

    I was anxiously awaiting more Norma on DVD and the folks at Warner Home Video did not disappoint. The picture is pristine and they have added the overture, intermission, and entracte music from the initial 1938 run. I felt like I was watching this film for the first time, you really get to see the detail and opulence that MGM invested in this production. The two shorts include also give the viewer a glimpse at the premiere at the Carthay Circle theater and the other shows a brief behind the scenes peek at the production. For anyone who is curious about Norma Shearer and her skill as an actress this is her film from start to finish.


    • Maria
    • 9/4/06

    Norma Shearer is wonderful as Marie. Adrian's costumes are a sight to behold -absolutely magnificent. Tyrone Power is gorgeous, giving rise to Barbara Cartland's phrase about young women of her generation, "We didn't need sex. We had Tyrone Power."

  • As Shearer takes on history...

    • Mike
    • 4/14/06

    Norma Shearer's powerful preformance as the imfamous 18th century Queen of France is a must see for fans of history and other movies lovers. Marie Antoinette, is probably Norma Shearer at her best. Although the movie does have some minor mistakes in history, but it can easily be over looked in this great movie. The movie marks a turning point in Shearer's career. Recently widowed by her late husband and producer at Metro Goldwyn Mayor, Irving Thalberg, Marie Anoinette marked the begining of the end of one of the Queen of MGM, Norma Shearer.

  • Norma is Marie Antoinette.

    • Corey
    • 3/24/06

    If one role had to sum up Norma Shearer's career, it would be Marie Antoinette. Miss Shearer dives into the role head on and her acting is exceptional. The last couple of scenes when her children are taken away and her husband is killed is cinema at it's best. The costumes, the supporting players, and Norma's heart-wrenching scene at the end is how movies are supposed to be. Although I'm a huge Bette Davis fan, I think Norma Shearer surely deserved 1938's Best Actress Oscar.

  • Memorable Film

    • tommy hines
    • 3/13/06

    What a great movie! I do agree that Norma Shearer can be overly dramatic at times, but the screenplay is wonderful and the sets and costumes a sight to behold. The film captivates from the very beginning and is one of the finest films of the 1930s. MGM was doing great things during that decade.

  • Epics in the old school

    • Marshall Newman
    • 2/5/06

    Despite the fact that Norma Shearer was incapable of acting outside a limited melodramatic range, this is one of the finest movies produced during the MGM Golden Age. As is the case with most of the worthwhile movies starring Ms. Shearer, she is backed up by a wonderful supporting cast, excellent production values and a wonderful script. I do wish this were available on DVD.

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