7.5/10
1,395
16 user 19 critic

The Wedding March (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 October 1928 (USA)
A young impoverished aristocrat falls in love with an inn-keepers daughter, but has to marry money.

Director:

Erich von Stroheim
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington, Erich von Stroheim
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A prince must woo the now wealthy dancer he once abandoned in order to keep her money in the country in order to keep it from crashing economically.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Roy D'Arcy
Foolish Wives (1922)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
Queen Kelly (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A convent girl is abducted and seduced by a prince before being sent off to a brothel in East Africa.

Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
The Honeymoon (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

"The Wedding March" ended with the marriage between Nikki and the crippled Cecilia takes place. Eberle swears to kills the prince unless Mitzi will agree to marry him. She relents, but at ... See full summary »

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Zasu Pitts, Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors: James Cruze, Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Donald Douglas, Betty Compson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Peggy and her friend Millie are strolling down Broadway while Jimmy and Mac are trolling Broadway, and the four get together. Jimmy and Peggy get together in many romantic ways and Peggy ... See full summary »

Directors: Alan Crosland, Erich von Stroheim, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Dunn, Zasu Pitts, Boots Mallory
Greed (1924)
Drama | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
7th Heaven (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A street cleaner saves a young woman's life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard
The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Erich von Stroheim ... Nicki / Prince Nickolas von Wildeliebe-Rauffenburg
Fay Wray ... Mitzi / Mitzerl Schrammell
Matthew Betz ... Schani Eberle - the Butcher
Zasu Pitts ... Cecelia Schweisser
George Fawcett ... Prince Ottokar von Wildeliebe Rauffenburg
Maude George ... Princess Maria - Nicki's mother
George Nichols ... Fortunat Schweisser - the Industrialist
Dale Fuller ... Katerina Schrammel - Mitzi's mother
Hughie Mack ... Eberle - the Wine-grower
Cesare Gravina Cesare Gravina ... Martin Schrammell - Mitzi's father
Sidney Bracey ... Navratil
Anton Vaverka Anton Vaverka ... Emperor Franz-Josef
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tiny Jones Tiny Jones ... Small Woman at Corpus Christi Procession
Elena Jurado Elena Jurado
Edit

Storyline

Prince Nikki, Lieutenant of the Guard in pre WWI Vienna, is flat broke, but the only advice he gets from his parents is either to shoot himself or to marry money. During the Chorpus Christi parade his horse accidentaly hurts poor Mitzi, the daughter of inn-keepers in a Viennese suburb, who is, according to the wishes of her parents, going to marry the butcher Schani. When Nikki visits her at the hospital, they fall in love, much to the dislike of her parents and Schani. Nikki's parents, meanwhile have arranged a prospective marriage with Cecilia, the limping daughter of a very rich non-aristocratic industrial. Due to the fact, that Nikki's father is a general in the Austrian-Hungarian Army, resitance is useless. When Mitzi, after hearing of it, is still refusing Schani's proposal, he vowes to shoot Nikki when he leaves the church. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a synchronized picture with a beautiful musical score and part of it is in color. It is one of the most beautiful pictures ever screened. (Print Ad- Sheffield Observer, ((Sheffield, Penna.)) 21 March 1929) See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hochzeitsmarsch See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Color:

Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)| Black and White
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Erich von Stroheim supposedly hired real prostitutes and used real champagne for the brothel scene. The sequence was shot at night on a locked stage and minimal instructions were given to George Fawcett and George Nichols. See more »

Quotes

Cecelia Schweisser: How could he be in love with me?
Fortunat Schweisser - the Industrialist: *You* have twenty millions!
Cecelia Schweisser: Money couldn't make a man feel *love*!
Fortunat Schweisser - the Industrialist: Don't be silly little goose - - love will come - - in time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

DEDICATED to the true lovers of the world. E.vS. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: Autocrats (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

PARADISE (The Love Theme)
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
Lyrics by Harry D. Kerr
Copyright 1928 Sam Fox Music Pub. Co.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Erich Von Stroheim's stylized elegy for Pre-War Vienna
22 March 2006 | by wmorrow59See all my reviews

"Let others make films about gay old Vienna," announced filmmaker Erich Von Stroheim, "I will make films about sad old Vienna, not because Vienna is sadder than any other city but because the world is sad." During his brilliant, erratic, maddening career as a director in Hollywood Stroheim twice attempted to make a movie about the city where he was born, a city devastated and changed forever by the Great War of 1914-18. His first attempt, Merry-Go-Round, was taken out of his hands and finished by studio hacks, whereas production on the second, The Wedding March, was halted before filming was complete. The film we see today is only a portion of the epic he planned. Still, it's a beautiful and stirring piece of work that conveys at least a glimmer of what its creator intended: an elegiac work that is, paradoxically, both nostalgic for a lost world yet unsentimental about that world's injustices.

Given the man's grandiose and tragic vision, his belief in the power of cinematic art and his uncompromising temperament, it's no surprise that Stroheim ran into so much difficulty with the moguls who controlled Hollywood, who fired him repeatedly and butchered his work; what's surprising is that he was ever granted any creative leeway at all. Then as now, Hollywood preferred escapism, straightforward plotting and happy endings. There was little tolerance for such an exacting artist as Stroheim, who wrote, directed and usually acted in downbeat and sometimes sordid films that were unlike those of anyone else. Still, for almost ten years beginning in 1919 he was permitted a limited amount of artistic freedom and was able to give the world a tantalizing hint of his talent in a handful of dramatic features, although not one of them survives in the form he intended. In 1926, fresh from the box office success of his biggest hit, The Merry Widow, Stroheim worked out a deal with producer Pat Powers to produce an epic set in Vienna just before the First World War. Stroheim believed he could complete the film for $300,000, a reasonable budget for the time and only slightly more than his previous film had cost.

The Wedding March as it survives today tells only about one-third of the story Stroheim wrote. The action takes place during the spring and summer of 1914, and concerns a "noble" family, the Wildeliebe-Rauffenbergs, who have a title, property, servants, and a dissolute son -- but no money. Stroheim does not bother with nuanced characterizations in this film, preferring to draw his figures with broad strokes. Our first sight of the parents, awakening to face the new day, is appalling: the Princess Maria wears a chin strap and her face is slathered with cold cream, while Prince Ottokar is bleary-eyed and obese. They bicker immediately. Their son Prince Nicki (played by the director) at first seems little better, stealing kisses from the servants and hitting up his parents for cash. Nicki appears to be the debauched product of a decadent line, itself the product of a decadent society. But today marks a turning point for the wastrel heir: it's Corpus Christi, a major holiday of religious and political significance, and while he is on maneuvers with the other soldiers at the Cathedral Nicki sees a beautiful girl in the crowd who has a profound impact on him.

The girl is Mitzi, played by 19 year-old Fay Wray in her first major role, and it's easy to see why she turns his head. (Seen here with her natural brunette hair, Fay Wray is as pretty as any woman who ever graced the screen.) Mitzi comes from a working class background and is being forced by her mother into a relationship with a coarse butcher, Schani, who she detests. The flirtation between Nicki and Mitzi quickly grows into a genuine passion. Unbeknownst to Nicki, his own parents are meanwhile arranging a match for him with a shy, club- footed girl, Cecelia (ZaSu Pitts), heiress to a corn-plaster fortune, a match as inappropriate as the one Mitzi is resisting. Both sets of parents care only about money, while Mitzi and Nicki seem to be the last persons in Vienna who believe in love. Ultimately, they are each forced to abandon the relationship and marry against their wishes.

It's not the story but the manner of its telling that makes all the difference. In bare outline the plot sounds as melodramatic as a paperback romance, but what makes the movie special are the director's bold and beautifully stylized flourishes: the ornate detail of the Wildeliebe-Rauffenberg town house; the pageantry of the Corpus Christi processional, filmed partly in two-strip Technicolor; the abandoned carriage where Nicki and Mitzi meet for their assignations, and where a steady supply of apple blossoms tumble onto their shoulders. These love scenes, certainly the most romantic the director ever made, are brutally inter-cut with the wildest orgy sequence of the silent cinema. And only this director could get away with such motifs as the mythic Iron Man who carries off "maenads" from the Danube (a vision said to portend tragedy), or the unforgettable sight of the organist's hands turning skeletal at the keyboard as Nicki and his club-footed bride, Cecilia, make their way down the aisle at their grim wedding.

This last image was meant to foreshadow events in the second part, The Honeymoon, but this portion of the story was never completed and no longer exists in any form. After seven months of filming Stroheim had spent almost $700,000 and wasn't done yet. Producer Powers pulled the plug and had the many hours of footage winnowed down to the film that now remains. Once again, Stroheim's vision was thwarted, but at least the fragment that survives tells a complete story and concludes on a satisfying albeit painfully dark note. Even in truncated form The Wedding March is a triumph, one of the great silent dramas and a testament to the unique talent of its creator.


23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed