To New Shores (1937)
"Zu neuen Ufern" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  28 January 1938 (USA)
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In 1846 the actress Gloria Vane is the leading star at the Adelphi Theatre in London. She is in love with the destitute nobleman Albert Finsbury. He is leaving for Australia to become an ... See full summary »


(as Detlef Sierck)


(novel) (as Lovis H. Lorenz) , , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willy Birgel ...
Edwin Jürgensen ...
Gouverneur Jones
Carola Höhn ...
Mary Jones
Viktor Staal ...
Henry Hoyer
Erich Ziegel ...
Dr. Magnus Hoyer
Hilde von Stolz ...
Fanny Hoyer
Jakob Tiedtke ...
Käsefabrikant Wells
Robert Dorsay ...
Bobby Wells
Ernst Legal ...
Siegfried Schürenberg ...
Kapitän Gilbert
Lina Lossen ...
Zuchthausvorsteherin in Paramatta
Gefangene Nelly
Herbert Hübner ...
Mady Rahl ...


In 1846 the actress Gloria Vane is the leading star at the Adelphi Theatre in London. She is in love with the destitute nobleman Albert Finsbury. He is leaving for Australia to become an officer in the Queen's Regiment of New South Wales, but promises her to be back after one year. His creditors urge him to pay his debt on 615 pounds before leaving. He gets a check of 15 pounds from his friend Bobby, but changes it surreptitiously to 615. After Finsbury is gone, the forgery is discovered. To protect him Gloria says in court that she committed the crime, and is sentenced to 7 years in the terrible Paramatta prison in Sidney. From prison she sends a note to Finsbury, asking for help, but he doesn't answer. The settler Henry Hoyer falls in love with Gloria. As this is a chance for her to leave prison, she agrees, but run away from him immediately. When she finds out that Finsbury is going to marry the Governor's daughter, she is heartbroken. Finsbury finds her and wants to run away with ... Written by Maths Jesperson {}

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Plot Keywords:

melodrama | based on novel | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

28 January 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To New Shores  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


German censorship visa # B. 45781 delivered on 20-7-1937. See more »


Referenced in The Silver Moonlight (2015) See more »


Yes Sir
Music & Lyrics by Ralph Benatzky
Performed by Elfriede Datzig
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User Reviews

A quality effort from German director Douglas Sirk prior to his arrival in America…
27 August 2015 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

Douglas Sirk isn't a director I've explored much. Having only seen a few of his '50s American melodramas, and knowing he had roots as a German filmmaker, I wanted to go back and get a feel for that part of his career. I'd also never seen any films (by any director) made in Germany during the reign of the Nazi regime (i.e. 1933 to 1945), other than "Triumph of the Will", the infamous mega-propaganda documentary by Leni Riefenstahl. So this film had a lot of historical interest for me. What I did not expect, however, was a quality film in its own right. And interestingly, that's exactly what it turned out to be.

"To New Shores" was a 1937 film directed by Sirk when he was still known by his real name, Detlef Sierck. He had directed seven features and three shorts prior to this film, all for the famous German film studio Universum Film AG (or UFA, for short). The history of UFA is dark and controversial, as they became deeply entrenched in the Nazi machine. Prior to the rise of National Socialism in Germany in 1933, UFA had produced some great films, namely the films of Fritz Lang, such as "Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler", "Die Nibelungen", and "Metropolis". When the Nazis came into power, UFA benefited heavily from it. The Nazis' fascist modus operandi extended to the film industry as well, where they essentially made UFA the official film studio of Nazi Germany (UFA churned out the country's propaganda films, including "Triumph of the Will" in 1935), and forced out the other film studios, leaving UFA with little to no competition in the German film industry. Additionally, the Germans' conquering and occupation of so many other countries across Europe was opening new markets to UFA. In a country under German occupation, the influx of cultural materials, such as films, was heavily regulated by the occupying government, so the Nazis could control exactly what films were available to the people of an occupied nation. And, of course, they made sure that UFA's films were everywhere. Put simply, UFA profited immensely from the Nazis' tyranny in Europe during those years. So, naturally, there's often a sense of moral corruption associated with this particular film studio in terms of its complicity with the Nazis during this part of history.

Douglas Sirk, too, could be criticized for his contributions to the Nazi machine. Filmmakers like Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder (a screenwriter at the time) bailed out of Germany upon Hitler's rise to power, while directors like Ernst Lubitsch and F.W. Murnau were already working in America. But Sirk didn't leave, at least not right away. For a time he stayed and worked for UFA and, by extension, for the Nazis. That being said, in 1937 (after this film and one more), he finally left Germany, supposedly because of political sentiments and because of his Jewish wife. It's also worth noting that, when he got to America, he made "Hitler's Madman", and overtly anti-Nazi film.

"To New Shores" stars Zarah Leander, a Swedish singer who apparently was Germany's biggest star actress during the Nazi years, and this, her first film with UFA, was evidently the film that propelled her to stardom (along with Sirk's next film, "La Habanera", which also starred Leander). Admittedly, it's a strong performance. She does quite well.

Interestingly, the propaganda in this film is actually minimal, all things considered. I found myself surprised that the Nazi government let a film be produced with so little propaganda value. Of course, it was 1937, and the war hadn't begun yet, but still, there's not much here in terms of propaganda. The film is a criticism of social injustice, like much of Sirk's work seems to be ("All That Heaven Allows" is the main example that comes to mind, though, as I said, I haven't seen many of his films). Presumably in order to get the film past the censors, Sirk had to set the film in England, and so all the characters are English, despite speaking German. As a result, the social injustice and cultural decadence depicted in the film can be seen as a criticism of English society specifically, which I'm sure is what the censors were counting on when they passed the film. I do not think, however, that this is how Sirk intended the film to be interpreted. I think Sirk was concerned with social injustice in general and, if anything, in Germany specifically, although he could obviously never convey that kind of message under the strict regulation of the Nazi censors. Nevertheless, much of the cultural criticism in the film has far more implications for Germany than it does for England, and the prison camp to which the female protagonist is sent will inevitably evoke associations with Nazi concentration camps during the war.

Watching "To New Shores", I was reminded very much of Roberto Rossellini's 1942 film "A Pilot Returns". Both films were made in collaboration with the fascist government that ran their respective countries. Furthermore, the films are very similar in style and tone. "To New Shores" has much less in common with the German cinema of the '20s and even early '30s than it does with, for instance, the concurrent French poetic realism films by directors like Marcel Carné, Jean Renoir, and Julien Duvivier.

Overall, it's a quality film with solid entertainment value and a fairly engaging narrative. I never expected that UFA would have churned out a real film like this in the years just before the war. In comparison to Sirk's later work in Hollywood, "To New Shores" lacks both the stylized aesthetic and the intense melodrama that marked those films. It's definitely a melodrama, but it's more subtle and understated than films like "All That Heaven Allows" and "Magnificent Obsession". It's not great cinema, but it's a respectable effort that is probably well worth the watch.

RATING: 6.67 out of 10 stars

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