The Smiling Lieutenant

Synopsis: Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna from the neighboring kingdom of Flausenthurm drive by, and Anna intercepts a wink meant for Franzi. She falls for Niki, marries him (he has no choice in the matter), and whisks him off to Flausenthurm. Franzi follows and enjoys a brief affair with Niki before Anna finds out. Franzi, much more experienced in the ways of the world, gives Anna lessons on how to win the affections of her husband.
Director(s): Ernst Lubitsch
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min

All right.

It's for me, sir.

Yes, sir!

A soldier's work is never done

And though we never use a gun.

We're still on active service

though we're through with fighting

For when a lady takes the field

she knows the guards will always yield

And every man

deserves a medal every night

To arms

To arms

We're used to night alarms

We're always facing powder

The girls give in

We weaken, but we win

And march home feeling prouder

We're on a parade

each evening in the park

We are not afraid

to skirmish in the dark

We're famous near and far

For our

rata, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta

Toujours l'amour

in the army

We give the girls

a rata-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta

When we go out campaigning

And they give us

a rata, ta-ta-ta-ta-ta

And so we are not complaining

For years and years

we've battled every night

They'll pension us

when we're too old to fight

We're the boudoir brigadiers

With a rata-ta-ta-ta, ta-ta

Toujours l'amour

in the army

Rata, ta-ta, ta-ta-ta

It's for you, sir.

- Hello, Niki.

- Hello.

Oh, Niki, I'm in great trouble.

You must help me.

- How much?

- No, no. No. It's not that.

It's something different, Niki.

Well, I've...

You see...

Well, I'm a married man.

Well, then, get a divorce.

Now, now. Don't misunderstand me.

I'm very fond of my wife.

She's nice. She's good. She's refined.

In fact, I love my wife.

- And so, you see, if l should...

- Wait a minute.

To cut a long story short,

you're crazy about another girl.

- Yes.

- And you don't know what to do.

- No.

- Then don't do it.

Oh, but she's so beautiful.

And what a figure she has.

And, Niki, you should see her fingers.

She has the daintiest little fingers.

She plays the violin, you know.

- What does she do?

- She plays the violin.

And how. She's the leader

of a girls' band in a beer garden.

I've just come from there.

Oh, Niki, Niki. I've got to meet her.

Oh, but I've got to be so careful

because I'm a married man.

Niki, Niki, look.

You come to the beer garden with me?

I see. I see. You're afraid

to have supper with her alone.

- Right.

- And that's why you want me along.

- Right.

- And after supper, I go home,

and you don't go home.

- Right.

- And you think I will

lend myself to such an intrigue?

- Let's go.

- My friend!

What did you say?

She plays the violin?


- I play the piano.

- Oh, that's great!

How do you like her?

What? You don't like her?

Do you know whom she reminds me of?

- Your wife.

- Oh, wait a minute.

- This girl is beautiful.

- See here.

No, no, no, no. You're crazy.

Just picture your wife,

15 years younger...

20 pounds lighter,

her hair dyed...

her nose operated on --

the same girl.

You see?

Exactly like your wife.

Always interrupting.


Beg pardon, madame.

Will you permit me to tell you...

that I think you are the most beautiful,

the most fascinating lady I have ever met?

You are very much mistaken, sir.

You haven't met me.

Oh, pardon me, please. That waltz

you played so divinely, how does it go?


So, you play the piano.

Someday we may have a duet.

I love chamber music.

When hearts are singing...

spring will remain.

Music is bringing...

Iove once again.

Listen. It calls you.

Now it is May.

Love while it sings to you.

Live for today.

It calls you.

Now it is May.

Take what it brings to you.

Live for today

You have to go?

You want to go?

- Yes.

- Why?

I like you too much.

Shall I see you again?

I hope so.


Well, perhaps tomorrow night

we could have dinner together.

Don't make me wait 24 hours.

I'm so hungry.

Well, perhaps then

we could have tea tomorrow afternoon.

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Ernest Vajda

Ernest Vajda (born Ernő Vajda; 27 May 1886 in Komárno, Austria-Hungary, today Slovakia – 3 April 1954 in Woodland Hills, California) was a Hungarian actor, playwright and novelist, but is more famous today for his screenplays. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film Smilin' Through (1932), based on the hit play by Jane Cowl and Jane Murfin. Vajda also wrote the screenplay for the first film version of Rudolph Besier's The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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