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Harvest (1936)

Ernte (original title)


Credited cast:
Rittmeister Karl von Tamassy
Artúr Somlay ...
Georg von Tamassy
Gina Falckenberg ...
Grit von Hellmers
Gábor Rajnay ...
Kutscher Johann, Julikas Vater
Fred Hennings ...
Baron Felix Sandberg
Johanna Terwin ...
Frau von Hellmers (as Johanna Terwin-Moissi)
Ferdinand Mayerhofer ...
Alfred Neugebauer ...
Otto Storm ...
Karl Ehmann ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hermann Gruber ...
Gisa Wurm ...


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Release Date:

22 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harvest  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Simple Love Song Illuminating Golden Harvest
19 June 2011 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

The glamor of loveliest wardrobe and the presence of the excellencies fills the atmosphere of a fabulous Viennese ball. A young 'Rittmeister' Karl surrounded by wealth and sophisticated women hardly thinks of life in any terms of hard work or sacrifice. Yet, the unexpected death of his father in the accident complicates much... He will soon stand before a challenge that will affect his life and before a girl who will illumine his heart, a simple girl Julika...

They both have lost their fathers in one terrible accident but... what is left to them differs considerably: he is left with riches to begin a sale, she is left with pure hands to offer help...just a simple servant Julika whose maxim 'to serve means to obey' seems to be her father's last will. What decisions await them? What efforts will they have to put in their work? What dreams will they fulfill in order to achieve the desirable crops...

ERNTE (aka DIE JULIKA) is surely not as famous as MASKERADE, a brilliant debut of the Austrian actress Paula Wessely, still one of the top notch Ufa films of the Pre-WWII period. Nevertheless, this film occurs to me as a very touching film, the 80 minutes that make me once again believe that art can address human heart. And who touched my heart most is PAULA WESSELY in the lead.

Geza Von Bolvary's movie is the first film Paula's leading man is her own husband Attila Hoerbiger. As a result, we achieve the convincing chemistry between the main characters, Julika (Paula Wessely) and Rittmeister Karl (Attila Hoerbiger). Although their love clearly appears to grow (foremost considering the misalliance of the story), the blinks in their eyes are remarkable from the very beginning...from the scene they meet at the servants' farewell. As viewers, we say frankly that these two people are destined to be with each other. First, Julika becomes for Karl a servant, she is for him like a man, another man who 'serves and obeys.' Yet, as time passes along with the juxtaposition of images, we notice the growing love between the two...the scenes of 'hand game' and her 'little love song' clearly indicate that growth. However, the love is so innocent and so shy that it is on the verge of being...lost forever in the arms of a 23 year-old "Gnaediges Fraeulein" (Gina Falckenberg) from the city who sees the things differently. At the danger of such an ambiguous reality, Julika's decisions become so daring and so unforgettable...

And PAULA WESSELY deserves nothing but praise since she naturally makes ERNTE her own vehicle. Her talent shines as powerfully as in MASKERADE but she portrays a character with considerably more self-esteem here. Ms Wessely beautifully depicts the simplicity of Julika's features on the one hand (like honesty and purity) and the complexity of her desires on the other hand (like fears of being deceived, passions and personal struggles for happiness). This is best resembled in the scene when she hears Karl's proposal to the Fraeulein in the garden. But the climax of her performance where her sublime acting becomes the art in itself occurs at the scene when Julika comes to Vienna to talk with the Fraeulein - what a tremendous impact she still has on the viewer when she executes the bunch of human emotions. Her face and the tone of her voice express everything flawlessly - from patience, disguised indifference, shock, hurt feelings and the burst of anger and such an unpleasant truth that has to be revealed. It's like a spasm of rage when the heart is on the verge of being forced to still itself. Something unforgettable!

The significant merit of the film except for Ms Wessely's achievement is its return to the simple ideals of humanity. We see the glamor in many places, we as viewers travel with Karl where he looks for happiness...the glamorous palaces, the sophisticated aristocracy, the pretty fiancés... Finally, however, we all get the relief in the village, in the golden fields that wait for the harvest where the prayers of men blow with the gentle breezes of the season. The film is full of poetical moments, including Julika's song, the shots of nature, the use of music with the vivid Hungarian elements. That circle of life is considerably marked by year seasons and people's lives in harmony with the nature. That is something rare in today's world, yet something that many people long for. That is what I found in this film and that is something I will never forget.

The visual effect is of course partly faded due to the old quality of the movie. It is not restored on DVD unfortunately. Nevertheless, it is still possible to capture lots of lovely moments of camera-work. I loved the juxtaposing images, particularly summer turning into winter and the calender days that make the content more attractive. It's all clear and makes the entire film more endurable for today's viewers. The visual climax appears to be the lovely depiction of the festival where the girls are wearing lovely dresses. That glamor is, in a way, contrasted with the splendor of aristocratic balls.

And...humor. Consider, for instance, Julika's search for knowledge in the books...her dancing with the boots or her hilarious idea to postpone the beginning of the harvest. That humor makes viewers amused from time to time, but also makes the entire film quite predictable. We all feel that the story is not going to end sadly...everything seems to be marked by curious waiting...waiting for the harvest...waiting for love...Yet, it is no clichéd happy ending, but a very intellectual conclusion from the male spiritual journey. "I have always waited for you"

Before the golden harvest begins, the simple love song is being sung out of a golden heart, heartfelt prayers are being said with tears of joy. The harvest marks a new beginning for them both...

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