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'Márta Eggerth' finally saw the film for the first time in 2010 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York included it as part of the Weimar Cinema: 1913-33 season, the announcement of her presence drawing gasps of amazement from the audience. Touchingly, she was still able to hum along to the music. See more »
Saw a rare print of this German musical at MOMA yesterday, and darned if Marta Eggerth, its then-19-year-old star, wasn't there to enjoy it. She's a spry and vivacious 98, and informed us that 1) she'd never seen it (she was so busy back then) and 2) the kiss from her leading man was her first-ever. It's a slight and charming musical, with only two real songs, endlessly repeated, and a few distinct Billy Wilder witticisms in its unremarkable screenplay. Marta's the bright-eyed working girl, a subway ticket vendor, pursued by a pilot and a workmate, who in turn is loved by a cigarette girl who works above ground. They're all nice company, there are some splendid shots of Weimar Berlin -- the director and DP, not major talents, liked to wield a fluid camera -- and there's a bit of a Rene Clair feel to it, and not a hint of the disaster about to hit the Republic. Marta's soprano is absolutely lovely, as is her personality. I suppose most Americans who know her at all know her from her other-woman role in "For Me and My Gal." She's very different here, and altogether winning.
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