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Some Like It WilderThe Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder$
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Gene D. Phillips

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125701

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125701.001.0001

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The Emperor Waltz and a Foreign Affair

(p.89) 6 Wunderbar
Some Like It Wilder


University Press of Kentucky

One of Johann Strauss' finest waltzes, “The Emperor Waltz”, would provide the title of Wilder's present film and be featured in the movie's score. Billy Wilder was bracketed with Charles Brackett, his writing partner, in the film colony, and not always to his advantage. The Emperor Waltz was to be a fluffy Viennese musical confection, a project that obviously appealed much more to the Austrian Wilder than to the New England Brackett. Franz Lehar wanted each song in The Emperor Waltz to be an extension, not an interruption, of the plot. The Emperor Waltz has some virtues that are frequently overlooked. One cannot deny that the film entrances the eye. It is also frequently referred to as a financial failure, but it was not. It attracted a fairly large audience and turned a modest profit. Even though Wilder had made a misstep with this, he was still the Paramount director par excellence. In addition the chapter describes A Foreign Affair. Because of the hostile reaction to the movie in official circles, Paramount is said to have discreetly withdrawn A Foreign Affair from distribution.

Keywords:   The Emperor Waltz, A Foreign Affair, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Paramount

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