[[caption-width-right:350:Beauty, Majesty, Humility.]]
A 1948 adaptation of a German operetta, which had previously been adapted into a stage play and a silent film. It starred Betty Grable, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Cesar Romero.
On the wedding night of Countess Angelina of Bergamo (a RealLife place in northern Italy), her small state is invaded by Hungarian hussars. Her newlywed husband is forced to flee, and the invading army comes in unopposed.
Hope comes instead from a supernatural force. Francesca "The Lady in Ermine", a previous countess from three centuries ago had saved the castle before from invaders, wearing nothing but an ermine coat; even her feet were bare. The other ghosts in the castle appear and call on Francesca's spirit to once again save the day. It turns out Francesca's legendary act, and how she plans to save this nation again, aren't as simple as it seems.
This film was the last of Creator/ErnstLubitsch, who died just over a week after filming started. Creator/OttoPreminger took over, but asked not to be given a directorial credit out of respect for Lubitsch.
Not to be confused with the LeonardoDaVinci painting "Lady With an Ermine".
!!Provides Examples Of:
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Francesca's outfit in the painting means she's barefoot every time her spirit appears in that outfit.
* ErmineCapeEffect: Aside from the dream dress, Francesca wears only her ermine coat from the panting.
* FemmeFatale: Francesca's mystique is this. The details known of what happened are that she went into the tent of the Duke of the invading force, and then stabbed him in the back.
* IdenticalGrandson: Angelina and Francesca.
* MistakenForCheating: Angelina's husband annuls the marriage due to this.
* PimpedOutDress: A few, from Angelina's wedding dress, to the dream dress Francesca wears.
* PrettyInMink: The eponymous ermine coat, and at the end, Angelina wears a white ermine coat, hat, and muff [[spoiler:which effectively became a wedding dress at the end]].
* RuleOfSymbolism: InUniverse. When appealing to the 16th century invaders, Francesca wears an ermine coat to show her noble lineage, and bare feet to show she's being humble.
* ShesGotLegs: The 19th century dress Francesca wears has nothing under the crinoline, so Grable can lift it up and show off her gams.
** The way the ermine coat is cut also seems designed to show off her lower legs.