Ich liebe alle Frauen - German operetta with Jan Kiepura
This is a refreshing example of a European operetta, starred by a talented singer and full of optimism and vigorous rhythm. It was made in a time when operettas were popular everywhere (Naughty Marietta had been premiered that spring with a smashing success). For those who love 30s musicals and don't know much about European ones or operatic stars, this will be a pleasant surprise.
The music is by Robert Stolz, with more than one delicious song, performed by Polish tenor Jan Kiepura, who entranced audiences with his powerful voice, strong personality and spontaneity, often singing from hotel's balconies or on top of a car for street admirers. He was already a star in Europe when he made this film, known to operatic & concert theaters and moviegoers alike. The German and French versions were filmed simultaneously, a common practice in those times, making the English one afterwards. In 1935 he traveled to Hollywood under contract to Paramount, before definitively flying to the USA in 1938 with wife Martha Eggerth, also a famed operetta and movie star, escaping from Nazi domination (both their mothers were Jewish). There he debuted at the Met with La Bohème to a resounding success, that would be followed and paralleled by the couple's theatrical performance of Léhar's The Merry Widow. They made a few films together, the last one a particular version of Léhar's Das Land des Lächelns.
Here he plays a double role as a famous opera singer longing for some fun who is doubled by a shop assistant with an extraordinary voice who dreams of becoming famous and sing opera. He is equally good at songs and operatic arias, singing Rigoletto's "Questa o quella" and "Bella figlia dell'amore" and Stolz & Marischka "Ob blond, ob braun, Ich liebe alle Frau'n" and "Schenk mir dein Herz heute Nacht" with equal enthusiasm. The rest of the cast plays supporting roles, overwhelmed by Kiepura's personality. Theo Lingen measurably displays his comedic abilities as Jan Morena's troubled assistant, balancing his energy. The feminine roles are quite limited, but both Lien Deyers as blond Susi and Inge List as brunette Camilla have good moments.
This is an European operetta set in modern times, with Kiepura bursting into song at any occasion and playfully enjoying it all (specially when impersonating blond Edi), full of refreshing sense of humor (the cucumber scene at the society party as an example) and with a good rhythm that keeps pace with "both" their leading man adventures, up to the last number with its final surprise that puts things in order to round the story.
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