“Waltzes From Vienna,” also known as “Strauss’ Great Waltz,” is a British musical film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1934. The movie is a fictionalized account of the early life of composer Johann Strauss II.
The story takes place in 19th century Vienna, where Johann Strauss II (played by Esmond Knight) is a struggling musician trying to make a name for himself. His father (played by Edmund Gwenn) disapproves of his son’s musical career and wants him to follow in his footsteps as a baker.
Johann falls in love with Rasi (played by Jessie Matthews), the daughter of a prominent conductor, who encourages him to pursue his dreams. Despite his father’s objections, Johann composes a waltz that becomes an instant hit and helps establish his reputation as a composer.
The movie features several musical performances, including the iconic Blue Danube Waltz. It also portrays the political and social tensions of the time, as Vienna is undergoing significant changes due to the rise of nationalism and the decline of the Habsburg Empire.
In the end, Johann and Rasi get married, and his father finally accepts his son’s musical career. The movie concludes with a grand ball where Johann conducts his music, cementing his place in the history of Viennese waltzes.
Overall, “Waltzes From Vienna” is a charming and lighthearted musical film that showcases the talents of its cast and captures the spirit of Vienna during a pivotal moment in its history.
Heinz Reichert, Ernst Marischka, Guy Bolton
Edmund Gwenn, Esmond Knight, Jessie Matthews