Great story-telling combined with Hans Albers' tour de force and Selpin's immaculate directing make this film compelling viewing,
The total irony of the existence of Albers' character (a real Einzelgänger) is very cleverly stressed by the fact that his whole life he has been working on something that only at the last minute he makes use of (but too late), which makes a second, third etc. viewing the more compelling.
Selpin's directing skills and personal touch are evident throughout the picture, but there are two sequences worth special mention. First there is the about 35 minutes long Sylvester celebration that could have been a short in itself; the combination of the ongoing music and the controlled pace of the image lets the atmosphere of the town and the tension brilliantly come across. Second sequence (already hinted at above) must also be the highlight of the film: the very moving final scene.
There is one minor dissonant: Selpin probably did not feel at ease with the "love's interest" within the story and this aspect is not very well done.
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