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Paul -(The Golem)- Wegener's `Ein Mann will nach Deutschland' (A German
Wants to Go Home), an UFA-production that premiered on 26th July 1934,
portrays a German engineer living in South America who hears in 1914 of war
in Europe. Realising his obligation for his fatherland', he sets out for
Europe, joined by a German comrade. The journey to Germany involves physical
hardships, treacherous terrain, and hostile seas, obstacles faced by
patriots who have only one thought: home to Germany to help a fatherland
This Nazi-propaganda picture was one of many made during that time, gradually preparing the Germans for the next war.
The acting is wooden and the intention of this movie all too obvious.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I agree with a previous IMDb reviewer, who said that this film is clumsy
German propaganda. (There were times when Nazi propaganda was very subtle
and artful ... but you wouldn't know it here.) 'A Man Wants to Go to
Germany' does seem intent upon preparing German audiences for another war... which is rather frightening, as this movie was made in 1934:
comparatively early in Hitler's regime, at a time when other world leaders
still considered him a man who could be reasoned with.
This film is set in 1914. Hagen and Brack are two young German men, working in a factory in Argentina. When Archduke Ferdinand is assassinated, and the Kaiser declares war, these two young cannon-fodders are perfectly placed to say 'Good job we're on a completely different continent, then.' But they're loyal Germans, so they straight away rush to get home and enlist.
They book passage homeward aboard a liner, sailing under neutral colours. But the ship is intercepted by a British naval vessel, crewed entirely by hissably effete Englishmen (played by hissably incompetent German actors). Our two krautmeisters are illegally arrested in international waters and transported to a PoW camp in Jamaica, which is filled with comical West Indians (played by Germans in blackface). One of them attempts a Jamaican accent.
SPOILERS COMING. Hagen and Brack cross paths with an exotic Cuban señorita named Manuela, played by a German actress with the monicker Brigitte Horney (a name to conjure with). Watching this movie in the early 21st century, when Hitler's crimes are in the past but Fidel Castro's crimes are still a going concern, I was intrigued that a Nazi movie would feature a Cuban heroine. Fraulein Horney helps Hans and Fritz escape, and she is so entranced by handsome Hagen (a strapping example of manly Aryan youth) that she accompanies him and Brack back to Germany. Happy endings all round, although German audiences in 1934 must have realised that Hagen and Brack are going home to fight a war that would end in a humiliating defeat for the Kaiser, and a huge death toll...
This film goes far out of its way to depict Germans as noble, Cubans as exotic and sensual, the English as effete bullies, and West Indian negroes as subhuman idiots. One wonders if the filmmakers actually believed their own propaganda, or if they were merely intent on brainwashing their audiences. The most interesting credit here is that of Paul Wegener, a vitally important German film actor whose talents as a director are often overlooked yet very much in evidence here in this well-paced (though ludicrous) film. The exterior sequences are very impressive, especially those taking place in Cuba. (I wonder where these scenes were actually shot.) Purely for its entertainment value, I'll ignore this movie's loathsome political agenda and I'll rate it 4 points out of 10.
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