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A musical comedy set in Vienna. The title refers to the name of a perfume. Two young women reply to newspaper advertisements but their replies are confused. The two young directors of the perfume company initially have different intentions towards the girls but it all gets sorted out in the end. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
This is the first review of this film on IMDb, so I will attempt to be both fair and complete for those interested in getting a first impression.
First of all, its main importance to the current day is that it holds the first of Luise Rainer's 13 film performances. Her second and third films, made in Germany, are believed lost.
The title is a translation of a perfume name (Longing 202). The plot is summarized elsewhere on this page. Essentially a newspaper ad mix-up presents a stenographer as a millionairess, looking to invest. The steno winds up working for a struggling perfume company run by two men, who treat her as if she were the millionairess. Meanwhile one of the men becomes involved with the real millionairess.
Rainer plays the millionairess - IMDb refuses to recognize this word and keeps editing it back. She appears in 11 scenes, singing brief snatches of the top tune in two of them: Ad shop, Ad shop, street scene, boudoir, night club, perfume shop, piano in boudoir, phone, perfume shop, night club, ad office.
Rainer is radiant throughout- totally confident, totally sophisticated, totally charming. Everyone else is delightfully talented and thoroughly competent. Magda Schneider stars as the stenographer and gets the most time on screen. Emeric Pressburger is a co-writer - he went on to give us great UK films such as: The 4th Parallel, One of out Aircraft is Missing, Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.
The songs (players burst into song no less than ten times, most reprises of the main tune). All tunes are utterly delightful- music by Fall, lyrics by Farkus, co-screenwriter, and Von Cube.
Cinematography is competent with a number of tracking shots. Most impressive is an early street scene where Rainer is being sung to by the lead, ending with a chorus of following men . Another is a close-up of an old photo, which dissolves to a waltz of the period, cut to a contemporary dance club.
The perfume bottles in the shop are enormous and there is an even more enormous fountain of 4711 prominently displayed.
Rainer made this when she was 22 - its release was September, 1932. It is reported as being 86 minutes, but the print I saw is timed at 78 minutes, 26 seconds.
It is available on DVD - excellent print transfer of an original without any subtitles - but IMDb rules forbid me to site the source. You can easily find it with a web search - or you may inquire , leaving your email address and I will respond. This will remove any correspondence from IMDb and into the completely personal realm.
All in all, a totally delightful and period-competent musical comedy with a delightful Rainer.
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