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.

Why not breakfast tomorrow morning?

No. No.

First tea...

and then dinner...

and then maybe...

maybe breakfast.

A dinner

a supper for two

Believe me

I know what to do

But breakfast is colder

Love seems much older

Yet the exception is you

You put kisses in the coffee

Such temptation in the tea

I get a thrill

that sends a chill right through me

When you pass the toast to me

There's paradise

in every slice of bacon

And you awaken

Such yearning when you beg

for scrambled egg

And you put "it" in every omelet

Breakfast time

This must be love

You put glamour

in the grapefruit

You put passion in the prunes

I find romance

each sweet, entrancing moment

Every time you touch the spoons

I must admit

with every bit of liver

I start to quiver

I'm gone

When you invade the marmalade

And you put magic

in the muffins

Breakfast time

This must be love

Telegram for His Majesty.

Telegram for His Majesty.

A telegram for His Majesty.


A telegram.

This is unheard of.

Flausenthurm without an "H"?

Don't they know in Vienna

how to spell my country?

It's a deliberate insult, Papa.

They're trying to make us feel,

just because we're a little country...

we shouldn't have so many letters.

It's from the emperor himself.

"My dear cousin, as you cross

the Austrian border...

"I extend to you and to your daughter,

Princess Anna...

my heartiest welcome."

"Unfortunately, I shall be unable

to meet you at the station...

as I have to open a cattle show."

Apparently cows are

more important to him than we.

One goes to Vienna and one's own cousin

doesn't even come to the station.

Trying to show off.

Big businessman.

That's always the way with relations.

Who are these people anyway?

A thousand years ago

they were even smaller than we.

It's only in the last 700 years

they've got anywhere.

Social climbers.

This sounds much better.

"You will, of course,

be my guests at the palace.

My whole empire is at your convenience."

Turn out the guard!

Eyes right!

"My daughter is no laughing matter,

states visiting king."

Yes. That's my statement.

- And I hope you stick to it, Daddy.

- Always, my daughter.

Now, I hope you feel better.

No. I'm sorry, Father, but I don't.

This humiliation is too much.

I know a princess can't be insulted

by a common lieutenant.

I should be far above that.

But besides being a princess...

I'm a girl.

Your Majesty, we promise

the fullest satisfaction.

This officer will be brought for trial

at once before a military court.

Not if I can help it.

I don't trust your courts.

I don't trust your justice at all.

In your country,

cows travel faster than kings.

You call that justice?

That's graft.

Bring him here.

I'll give him a fair trial.

Let him dare explain that laugh.

If he does, he'll hang.

No, but they can't punish you.

You never laughed

at that small-town princess.

Why don't you tell them

what really happened?

No, darling.

That would make it worse.

An officer on duty

presenting arms before passing royalty...

and smiling at the girl he loves.

No, there is no excuse

from a military point of view.

But from my point of view...

what an excuse.

It's for you, sir.

Don't cry, darling.

Don't cry. Don't worry.

Everything will be all right.

No, darling.

And remember. Remember what

Napoleon said before he went to Elba:

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

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…

All Ernest Vajda scripts | Ernest Vajda Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Smiling Lieutenant" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    What is a "script doctor"?
    A A writer hired to revise or rewrite parts of a screenplay
    B A writer who directs the film
    C A writer who edits the final cut
    D A writer who creates original scripts