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This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.
Josef von Báky
Der Kongress tanzt is a German operetta move, but it's not as awful as that sounds. In fact, it's pretty remarkable.
The movie has a wit reminiscent of Lubitsch and scenes that seem almost too dirty for their times (including a very funny almost-s&m scene), which director Erik Charell films with breathtaking virtuosity.
There's a musical sequence where the heroine rides in a carriage to her new villa, filmed in long takes where the camera just tracks and tracks and tracks, through the village, through the market place, through the fields and then goes on as she walks into the house, one of the most visually amazing musical numbers I've seen.
Erik Charell was a Jew whose career was cut short by the Nazi's. He fled to the US, but apparently never made it in Hollywood and now only has two film credits to his name. A tremendous shame because, based on the evidence of this film, he could have been one of the greats.
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