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Goodnight, Vienna is a 1932 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Jack Buchanan, Anna Neagle and Gina Malo.[2] Two lovers in Vienna are separated by the First World War, but are later reunited.

Goodnight, Vienna
Good Night Vienna.jpg
Directed byHerbert Wilcox
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Written byEric Maschwitz
StarringJack Buchanan
Anna Neagle
Gina Malo
Music byTony Lowry
Harry Perritt
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited byMichael Hankinson
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
28 March 1932
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Based on a radio operetta written by Eric Maschwitz, it features the song "Good-night, Vienna". Wilcox reportedly cast Neagle, whom he would later marry and direct in many films, after discovering her by chance in a stage show.[3]


Max is an Austrian officer in the army and son of a highly placed general. His father wants him to marry a Countess but he has fallen in love with Vicki. Attending a party given in his honour, they are informed that war has broken out. Max writes a note to Vicki and goes off to war. Unfortunately the note is lost. Some time after the war, Max is just a shoe shop assistant while Vicki is now a famous singer. They meet and at first she snubs him but then falls in love with him again.



Herbert Wilcox was played the scored by Eric Maschwitz and George Posford. He liked it and bought the rights. Within a week Wilcox persuaded Jack Buchanan to play the lead. He wanted Lea Seidl or Evelyn Lane to play the female lead but neither was available. He went to tell Buchanan that the film was going to be postponed; Buchanan was playing in a show Stand Up and Sing with Anna Neagle. Wilcox was impressed by Neagle and cast her at a fee of £150. The film was shot in three weeks before Buchanan had to leave to appear in Stand Up and Sing at Liverpool. During the making of the film, Wilcox and Neagle fell in love[1]


The film was Wilcox's most commercially successful until that time.[1]

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • In the TV Series Rising Damp the lead character Rigsby often puts his cat Vienna out with the phrase Goodnight, Vienna
  • The phrase is used in the TV Movie Housewife, 49 when someone passes away
  • Goodnight Vienna is the title of the fourth album by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr
  • In the opening scene of the Jeeves and Wooster episode The Purity of the Turf, Hugh Laurie, in the character of Bertie Wooster, sings fragments of the film's title song
  • In the BBC's Sherlock, "The Great Game" (Series 1: Episode 3), Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock examines a corpse, saying, "Nasty wound. Tetnus bacteria enters the bloodstream... Good night, Vienna."
  • In the video game Bloons Tower Defense 6, upon seeing a B.A.D, the hero Benjamin will simply say "Goodnight, Vienna."


  1. ^ a b c Wilcox, Herbert (1967). Twenty Five Thousand Sunsets. South Brunswick. pp. 90–91.
  2. ^ IMDB
  3. ^ Street p.165
  • Street, Sarah. British National Cinema. Routledge, 2009.

External linksEdit