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Marie Antoinette Overview:

Marie Antoinette (1938) was a Drama - Drama Film directed by W.S. Van Dyke and Julien Duvivier and produced by Hunt Stromberg and Irving Thalberg.

The film was based on the biography Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman written by Stefan Zweig 1932.

Academy Awards 1938 --- Ceremony Number 11 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Supporting ActorRobert MorleyNominated
Best ActressNorma ShearerNominated
Best Art DirectionCedric GibbonsNominated
Best Music - ScoringHerbert StothartNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

Marie Antoinette (1938)

By Amanda Garrett on Jun 3, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing the 1938 biopic of French Queen Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer. This article is part of The Royalty on Film Blogathon hosted by The Flapper Dame. Eighteenth century French Queen Marie Antoinette is still a pop culture icon for her over-the-top fashions and her ... Read full article


Marie Antoinette (1938)

By Beatrice on Dec 2, 2013 From Flickers in Time

Marie Antoinette Directed by W.S. Van Dyke Written by Claudine West, Donald Ogden Stewart, and Ernest Vajda based in part on the book by Stefan Zweig 1938/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer First viewing I am not big on 2 1/2 hour-plus costume dramas … especially if Norma Shearer is going to play a tee... Read full article


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Quotes from

Marie: I think I've known you would come. You promised to, you know?
Count Axel de Fersen: If you needed me, I said.
Marie: Yes, you said that.
Count Axel de Fersen: And, I said I would ask you: "Was it well done?"
Marie: It was well done. My husband has needed me. I am thankful to not have failed him.
Count Axel de Fersen: I understand.
Marie: I even love him. But the love I have for him takes nothing away from my friend. Of all there was between us the night you went away nothing has changed. For me, nothing has changed or ever will. Forgive me for telling you this without asking you if you had the right to hear it.
Count Axel de Fersen: I have the right. We knew each other for only a few hours and have been parted for long years, but the memory of you has always, will always, stand in the path of any living woman. Goodnight, madame.


Count Axel de Fersen: When I'm gone you'll be glad that I didn't stand in the path of your destiny making you less than you were meant to be.
Marie: And that other kingdom? The love, the youth, the happiness we might have had... what of that?
Count Axel de Fersen: We shall dream of it more tenderly because we didn't destroy it.


Marie: Shall I never see you again?
Count Axel de Fersen: If you need me I shall come to you.
Marie: (through tears) I shall always need you.
Count Axel de Fersen: And if I should ask you, "Was it well done?", you'll tell me, "It was well done."


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Facts about

The sound director, Douglas Shearer, is the brother of Norma Shearer and had served as such in many other films of this era.
According to Wikipedia, the movie had thousands of costumes and lavish set designs. Adrian visited France and Austria in 1937 researching the period. He studied the paintings of Marie Antoinette, even using a microscope on them so that the embroidery and fabric could be identical. Fabrics were specially woven and embroidered with stitches sometimes too fine to be seen with the naked eye. The attention to detail was extreme, from the framework to hair. Some gowns became extremely heavy due to the embroidery, flounces and precious stones used. Norma Shearer's gowns alone had a combined weight of over 1,768 lb., the heaviest being the wedding dress.
The gown and wig Norma Shearer wears in the scene where the people throw stones at her carriage is later worn by Lucille Ball in Du Barry Was a Lady and by Jean Hagen in Singin' in the Rain.
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Best Actress Oscar 1938






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Also directed by W.S. Van Dyke




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Also produced by Hunt Stromberg




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