It is 1915 in Vienna and the Great War has caused many casualties. Elsa decides to answer the patriotic appeals and help by working in the hospital, but her reputation causes her to be ...
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It is 1915 in Vienna and the Great War has caused many casualties. Elsa decides to answer the patriotic appeals and help by working in the hospital, but her reputation causes her to be rejected. Because of her past, military intelligence wants her to find out whether an army major is spying for the allies. She meets the major at a dinner and they agree to meet later, but before she can keep the date, she is courted by a young naval officer named Karl. Falling in love, she ignores her spying assignment, but knows that she can never tell her new love about her life. When Karl has a chance to go on a heroic mission, Elsa sends him away with a dear Karl letter. However, the paths of these three people cross again and she decides what she must do. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In many ways like combining the Garbo films "Mata Hari" and "Camille".
The film begins when WWI breaks out. Wanting to be an Austrian patriot, Elsa (Helen Twelvetrees) tries to volunteer. But again and again she is rejected. Now since this is a Pre-Code film, adults watching the film realize it's because she's a prostitute...but it is implied and never explicitly stated. Eventually, the spy folks learn about her willingness and recruit her to do some spying. After all, if she needs to bed the guy, she's likely very good at it! But instead of vamping the guy, she accidentally meets up with a handsome and very, very sweet Lieutenant...and he falls head over heels for her. And, she spends most of the film with the nice guy and not her quarry. However, she IS a patriot and eventually does what must be done...even though she would much rather just run off with the Lieutentant and live happily ever after. So what's next? See the film.
The plot of this film is very much like the Garbo films "Mata Hari" and "Camille" (about a doomed love affair with a prostitute). But, and I know some folks might be surprised I'd say this, but these represent two of Garbo's worst films and "A Woman of Experience" is much more watchable...though I am NOT saying it's a particularly great film as well. I prefer it because Twelvetrees' acting is much more restrained and believable...and her boyfriend, Karl (William Bakewell), is quite good. The twist at the very end, however, is NOT good...not at all.
By the way, throughout the beginning of the film, you keep hearing the song "Deutschland über Alles"....but this is the national anthem of Germany, not Austria. How odd. Maybe they chose it because it was written by Hayden...an Austrian. I would have chosen another song.
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