THIS LADY IN ERMINE(1948) Is a beautiful period film/ musical. As the Austrian army takes over Italy, beautiful Countess Mariana marries Count Adrian Murillo before he leaves to defend the castle. The overbearing General Dostal makes his headquarters at the castle of Countess Beltrami and immediately competes with the Austrian Crown for her attention. At midnight, all the portraits in the gallery come to life and ask Francesca, Angelina's great, great, great, great grandmother, to save the castle .
Count Murillo disguised as a gypsy breaks through the Austrian lines and is able to return to the castle. He is caught and ordered to be shot as a spy. The countess shares with him a time 300 years ago when her grandmother saved her husband by going before the general wearing only an ermine coat.
The colonel, enjoys Mario's musical performance, hires him to be his "personal gypsy." He soon learns that Mario is Angelina's husband and offers to let him go if she will dine with him at nine. Angelina does not come that evening, but Francesca later visits the colonel while he is sleeping. As the clock goes back to nine, Angelina joins him and demands a kiss from him. As she puts her arms around him, she throws the knife at the clock, stopping time.They dance and sing together, as the portraits watch them.The next day, when the colonel awakens he realizes that it has all been a dream .
Angelina rushes in and says that she could not reach Mario's general to plead for his life. The colonel sets Mario free, he tells her about the dream. She is deeply touched when he confesses he will always love her. She cries as she watches him from the balcony.
Will Mario walk out on her?
Will Angelina ever see the Colonel again?
Cast: BETTY GRABLE, DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR. and CESAR ROMERO.
Though this film is listed in his filmography as his last, Ernst Lubitsch only directed eight days' worth of shooting before he died of a heart attack on November 30, 1947. Otto Preminger was called in to finish the film, but took no credit and allowed Lubitsch to stand as director.
For me Grable is convincing in her performance of her two contrasting characters. And shares the honours in the verbal duels with her male supporting leads. Fairbank's performance in particular is also wonderful.