6.7/10
1,190
21 user 13 critic

Marie Walewska (1937)

Conquest (original title)
A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors:

Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Anna Christie I (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Love (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a ski instructor catches her husband flirting with an old flame, she decides to pose as her (fictitious) twin sister in an attempt to keep him faithful.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Erich von Stroheim
The Kiss (1929)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone
Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: 14 Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Mata Hari (1931)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other once fiercely loved.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson
Anna Christie II (1930)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Theo Shall, Hans Junkermann
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Countess Marie Walewska
Charles Boyer ... Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Reginald Owen ... Tallyrand
Alan Marshal ... Capt. d'Ornano
Henry Stephenson ... Count Anastas Walewski
Leif Erickson ... Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
May Whitty ... Laetitia Bonaparte (as Dame May Whitty)
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Countess Pelagia Walewska
C. Henry Gordon ... Prince Poniatowski
Claude Gillingwater ... Stephan (Marie's servant)
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Dying soldier
George Houston ... Grand Marshal George Duroc
Edit

Storyline

After a brief informal meeting two months earlier when they were impressed with each other, Countess Marie Walewska formally meets Napoleon Bonaparte at a ball in Warsaw. When Napoleon notes her husband is three times her age, and as he is taken with her charms, he unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. She ignores his frequent letters and flowers until a few grim Polish leaders led by Senator Malachowski urge her to give into his desires as a personal sacrifice in order to save Poland. She goes to him despite the humiliation of her husband, who leaves for Rome to annul their marriage. They are extremely happy for a while; Napoleon divorces childless Empress Josephine and Marie eventually becomes pregnant. She is about to tell Napoleon about her baby when he tells her he decided to marry Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. He explains it will be a political marriage to insure his future son could rule securely with Hapsburg blood in him. It will not affect their relationship, he says, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Love Story of Marie Walewska See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Marie Walewska See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,732,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$730,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,411,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television showing in Philadelphia Tuesday 5 February 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Seattle Saturday 9 February 1957 on KING (Channel 5), and by Portland OR Wednesday 13 February 1957 on KGW (Channel 8); in Minneapolis it first aired 2 March 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Chicago 16 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Norfolk VA 17 March 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Memphis 1 May 1957 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in Hartford CT 26 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in New York City 7 July 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Los Angeles 1 August 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Baltimore 27 September 1957 on WJZ (Channel 13), and in Altoona PA 16 December 1957 on WFBG (Channel 1); in San Francisco its first telecast occurred 25 April 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Quotes

Tallyrand: I'm not opposed, your majesty. At least we will not have to pursue that dream of a united Europe.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: From now on, Tallyrand, I am Europe!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dad's Army: A Soldier's Farewell (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 74, 'Pathétique' (1893)
(uncredited)
Second movement, Allegro con grazia
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One Man's Liberator, Another Man's Tyrant
10 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I've often thought that those first twenty minutes of Conquest are the most important of the film. When those Cossacks invade the civilized home of Count Walewska, their actions there establish the reason for all that follows in the film. They are one greasy, slovenly, disreputable lot, set against the urbane Henry Stephenson as the Count and his young wife Maria, played by Greta Garbo.

After what we see of the Cossacks, no wonder the Poles welcome the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte as liberators, restorers of their country which had been carved up about 40 years earlier by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. And when it seems that Greta Garbo is the best thing the Poles have to offer Charles Boyer, it becomes her patriotic duty, even Stephenson unwillingly goes along with the liaison.

But she really loves the Little Corporal as it turns out. They even have a son together. But unfortunately Boyer is about himself first last and always.

Maria Walewska was not the first or last of Napoleon's amours. In fact this film ought to be seen back to back with Desiree, a lost love of Bonaparte's from an earlier time. Both of his marriages were for political reasons, Garbo should have known about the first one going in.

Conquest is one of the few Garbo films where she is not number one, what holds the film together is Charles Boyer as Napoleon. Boyer captures perfectly both the idealism and ambition that was Bonaparte, he got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, but lost to Spencer Tracy for Captains Courageous. Not that Garbo's bad, but I can't recall any other film where her leading man overshadowed her.

Although Conquest takes quite a few liberties with the historical record, it's still a fine costume drama, one of the best that MGM put out back in its height.


22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

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