'The Rhineland Dream' has quite a few merits, not least some beautiful footage of Rhineland scenery. This movie could almost qualify as an example of Germany's 'heimatfilm' genre.
The film begins in America, of all places. ('America' in this case being a backlot at a German film studio.) Thirty years ago, German-born Jupp Steinweg emigrated to the United States, seeking his fortune. He did this so very well that he's now wealthy. He's also nostalgic for his birthplace in the Rhine valley. He decides to go home for a trip. The widower is accompanied by his pretty daughter Mary and by her fiancée, a Yank who rejoices in the name Conny. (I wonder if this character was named after Connie Mack.) Much of this movie is concerned with the threesome's journey: first by ocean liner to Bremen, then by motorcar into the Rhineland, and lastly by boat on the river to Steinweg's hometown ... where of course he and his money are greeted warmly.
When they reach their destination, Mary meets Hein Fries, a local German who is charming and debonair though unemployed. He claims to be a schoolteacher, but he hasn't a school. This being a German film meant for German audiences, it's bang obvious that Mary is going to fall for him, and send Conny packing.
Oh, I quite forgot. There's a minor subplot about a stolen gold coin. There really isn't a huge amount going on in this pleasant but minor movie. This 1933 German film tells its intended audience that a German-American such as Mary is happier reclaiming her true German heritage by returning to the fatherland and marrying a native. In 1933, Hitler hadn't really started his excesses yet: even so, I'm sure that reality in 1933 was actually the other way round, with plenty of Germans wishing they could emigrate to the United States.
Friedrich Wilhelm Schröder-Schrom is excellent in the central role. This film's leading lady, who rejoiced in the bizarre name Gay Christie, is pleasant to look at but not much of an actress. My rating for this one: 7 out of 10.
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