The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When the romantically unappealing princess of his homeland takes a shine to him, a loyal Viennese officer obediently marries her, finding her quite lovable once his own charming mistress instructs her in the arts of femininity. This rarely shown but delightful Lubitschian film features the always-courtly Maurice Chevalier.


Maurice Chevalier
as Lieutenant Niki
Miriam Hopkins
as Princess Anna
George Barbier
as King Adolf XV
Elizabeth Patterson
as Baroness von Schwedel
Robert Strange
as Adjutant von Rockoff
Harry Bradley
as Count Von Halden
Karl Stall
as Master of ceremonies
Granville Bates
as Bill collector
Harry C. Bradley
as Count von Halden
Charles Wagenheim
as Arresting Officer
View All

Critic Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

The drought is in the disappointing Oscar Straus score of four numbers.

July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

Wit and melody swing through Maurice Chevalier's latest picture.

June 24, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's quintessential Lubitsch in the way it suggests sexual dalliance with the brightening or darkening of a gas lamp outside a bedroom.

June 24, 2006

Lubitsch's glissando rhythm is a thin veneer that never softens the essential cruelty of the story

September 25, 2009 | Full Review…

Charming lightweight musical.

February 18, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Lubitsch pokes sly fun at the antics of his European aristocrats, but concurs with the film's conclusion that beauty is skin deep enough.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant

I'll be honest, Claudette Colbert is very cute and she made this movie for me. The plot has a somewhat dippy Maurice Chevalier marrying a Princess (Miriam Hopkins) to avoid an international incident, thus breaking his lover's (Colbert's) heart. When she arranges to meet up with him anyway, she's caught by Hopkins, and after a mutual, (hilariously overwrought) cry, she tells Hopkins (in song) that in order to keep Chevalier, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie". The movie is pre-Code which made scenes like that possible, as well as allude to unmarried sex between Colbert and Chevalier, and Hopkins's desire to consummate her marriage. This naughtiness is also part of the movie's charm. It's interesting that the movie wrong-foots us by having the 'wrong girl' get the man. A big hit in 1931 and nominated by the Academy for Best Picture, it's still very watchable 85 years later.

Antonius Block
Antonius Block

Super Reviewer

I absolutely love Chevalier pictures. They are tremendously silly but they have a riske element to them that is delightful. Colbert and Chevalier have fantastic chemistry.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed this movie, it was hilarious. Sure, it's got a pretty normal romance going on, but it is one of those comedies with a lot of mistakes that turn out very funny. The cast is great too, I loved Chevalier and Colbert and Hopkins together as the love triangle. If you like them or just enjoy romantic comedies, I recommend this.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Smiling Lieutenant Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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