- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Gable as Elvis?
I'vve seen this film several times and the "Puttin' on the Ritz" dance number several more. The film has grown on me even though I'm not much of a Norma Shearer fan. Ginger Rogers played a similar character in a film called "Once Upon a Honeymoon", I think, which covered much the same time frame. Cary Grant was her co-star. I think that both films deserve 3 1/2 stars but this one gets that half star based solely on Gable's dance number.I think that I was so amazed to see Gable dancing that I never really paid attention to what he was doing between his knees and his electrifying smile. He did a bump and grind that was worthy of the young Elvis. I must have seen it subliminally because I've never felt Gable's sex appeal more strongly. He was a more believable lover in "It Happened One Night" and a more dashing hero in "Gone With the Wind" but I'm a sucker for a song and dance man. Gable wasn't much of a singer but he was a very good dancer in this film, expanding his repertorire of talents in an unexpected direction. I had a sappy grin on my face from the moment he began the number until Les Blondes carried him off the makeshift stage.
- Woody Woodrum
What a cast in a film that wanted to be an A picture with Clark Gable and Norma Shearer, but does quite rise. Still, a sensational cast of actors who nearly steal the picture from the big names. I especially liked Burgess Meredith in his role as a former packer of poison gas (WWI) and now preaching peace. The film jumps from the typical showbiz movie of its era into a remarkable look at the world going to war while the US (in the person of Gable) still clings to the isolationist policies of the first world war. Airfield hiding in The Alps pushes believability a bit, and the second ending seems needlessly depressing but I was glad I watched this movie I had never heard about before. Worth a look for sure.
- george snedker
dated pacific period piece famous now for gable's dance routine,shearer is way over the top garbo could have been great in the role.interesting in it's way this film is from the 1939 golden year but is way down the list for that great year.
I wonder if Mel Brooks ever saw this film in his younger days. Had I been told he wrote this, I would have clapped my hands and believed it. You could say that Norma, deliberately bad Russian accent and all, was a direct inspiration for Brooks' "Lilly Von Shtoop," but there's probably no knowing. All I can say is, if you enjoy Brooks, you must watch this film. And dig that awesome pinstripe suit Gable wears toward the end. And in the "European" ending, dig the dogfights outside the hotel window, on a 5-second loop over and over again. Mad hilarity.
Perfection! Ryhtym, pace, music, message
- Stephen E. Backhus
Idiot's delight is one of the great films of all time. It combines superb acting, brilliant musical choices, searing dialog, wonderful editing and sets. I have watched this film many times, and can't wait for its release on dvd. There is a rythym about it, from the opening musical strains to the final moment of triumph that is absolutely compelling. Bravo to Clarence Brown, who made it work, and of course to Norma Shearer and Clark Gable for their portrayals; but also to the fine supporting cast, lead by Charles Coburn, Edward Arnold, and Joseph Shildcrest, et al. And who could forget Virginia Mayo and the other 'blondes'.
Idiot's Delight (1939)
Amusing and a bit unusual. Norma Shearer is wonderful. I have always had a fascination with her. Great art direction, typical glossy MGM production. Very entertaining.
A Shearer Delight!
- Jeff Solis
"Idiot's Delight" is an excellent anti-war comedy and one of Norma Shearer's best performances. Ditto can be said for Gable and they are - well, just terrific together. Real 1930's superstar chemistry of the highest grade. The film deserves to be shown more!
Fine rarely seen comedy.
- edward powers
Because I am a Norma Shearer fan I am writing a review for this film. Shearer who was a very popular star in her day shines along with Clark Gable in this comedy which requires her to play a very imaginative, much younger girl and then the same character closer to her own age. Gable of course is Gable and here, at the top of his game shows why he was "The King". The film is almost 70 years old but still fun to watch and of course having the top production values always present in MGM films of the period doesn't hurt either. One last note, I've read several opinions that Greta Garbo should have played the character of Irene that Shearer does, and I think that would have been a been a terrible mistake. Garbo wouldn't have thrown herself into the Irene of the second half of the film the way Shearer does and there's no way she would have been believeable as the Irene of the first half, a girl from...Omaha.