Don Pedro, the elegant landowner of Puerto Rico, is conquered by Astree, the rebellious travelling Swedish woman. They get married and have a child. Their relationship begins to change and ... See full summary »
Don Pedro, the elegant landowner of Puerto Rico, is conquered by Astree, the rebellious travelling Swedish woman. They get married and have a child. Their relationship begins to change and Don holds Astree a prisoner. Homesicked, all Astree's pent-up hatred of her husband and his island breaks out when her childhood friend Dr. Sven appears to investigate the cause of a vicious fever to which the island has fallen prey. Don is determined at all costs to prevent the epidemic from becoming public knowledge in order to save his fruit export business. Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The earliest example of Douglas Sirk's filmography that I have seen is this German melodrama starring Swedish singing star Zarah Leander. Although hardly a major film when judged against his later, more renowned Hollywood output of the 1950s, at the same time it is just as well-crafted and visually polished a film as any he ever made. A Swedish tourist, vacationing in Puerto Rico with her stuffy elderly aunt, falls in love with its exotic ambiance and laid-back lifestyle and impulsively elopes with its leading citizen Don Pedro (Ferdinand Marian) while at the harbor. Cut to 10 years later and their marriage, which has bore them a son, is at the end of its tether; meanwhile, the resilient aunt decides to entrust an old friend of her niece's called over there to investigate the outbreak of an epidemic fever to bring her back home. Don Pedro tries his utmost to keep the real health situation in his community under wraps and this serves to add another layer of animosity towards the Swedish scientist. The titular anthem is heard in various forms throughout the film and, for whatever reason, Leander feels the need to belt it out in public as a farewell gesture to the land and man (who has eventually succumbed to the fever himself) that had captured her heart all those years ago.
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