0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
This Bavarian cream is mostly froth.
F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales
25 March 2005
This movie's title translates literally as 'I Know You Not and Love
You', but should be rendered as 'I Don't Know You, and Yet I Love You'.
Either way, it's froth, German-style: not quite on the level of
operetta, but set in that same artificial and twee realm.
This movie is a semi-musical: it likely would have been more enjoyable
if it had been done as a full-scale musical. It feels like an operetta,
even though there isn't nearly enough singing here to qualify as one.
Typically in operettas, the hero is either a struggling composer in his
twenties or a successful composer in his thirties. Here we have the
latter: Willi Forst portrays a composer who has attained commercial and
artistic success, but who is just lately undergoing the musical
equivalent of writer's block ... until he sees a magazine photo of the
daughter of a wealthy Bavarian family (Magda Schneider).
Her beauty inspires him to compose new melodies. But there's only so
much inspiration in a magazine photo. To get to the source of his
inspiration, Forst applies for a job as the butler in her parents'
mansion. (What's the German for 'Hoo boy'?) Conveniently, her parents
are looking to hire a butler. Implausibly, Forst gets the job without
any sort of references or screening. I suspect that wealthy Germans in
1934 were very careful about whom they brought into their households as
servants, but what do I know? Anyway, the movie tries to get some
dramatic and comedic tension out of this contrived situation: Forst is
romantically and sexually attracted to Schneider, but she thinks he's a
mere lowly servant. Ach du lieber, if only he could tell her that he is
a wealthy composer! I was more interested in another conflict here,
which the movie barely acknowledges: how will Forst find time to write
his melodies whilst employed as a butler?
I'm intrigued that German audiences were watching this sort of thing in
1934, when Hitler was riding a wave of optimism for Germany's economic
recovery ... and at a time when his more extreme policies had not yet
manifested. I'll rate this froth 3 points out of 10. Do I hear
goose-stepping in the distance?
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