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Wally of the Vultures (1940)

Die Geierwally (original title)
Wally is the daughter and only child to Fender, a rich, widowed mountain farmer in the Ötztal valley in the Tyrolian Alps. She is young, beautiful, intrepid and, most of all, strong-minded.... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heidemarie Hatheyer ...
Wally Fender, die "Geierwally"
Sepp Rist ...
Joseph Brandl, der "Bärenjoseph"
Eduard Köck ...
Alois Fender
Afra Kuttner
Leopold Esterle ...
Vinzenz Gellner
Mimi Gstöttner-Auer ...
Luckard, Fenders Magd
Ludwig Auer ...
Maria Hofen ...
Mariann Rosenbauer
Georg Vogelsang ...
Nicodemus Rosenbauer
Leander Rosenbauer (as Adalbert von Schlettow)
Käte Merk ...
Resi (as Käthe Merk)
Marta Salm ...
Nani, Obermagd
Anna Exl ...
Hans Kratzer ...
Gustav Waldau ...


Wally is the daughter and only child to Fender, a rich, widowed mountain farmer in the Ötztal valley in the Tyrolian Alps. She is young, beautiful, intrepid and, most of all, strong-minded. When she at great risk catches a vulture's young from its nest she carries the respect of her father, but also the scorn of Bear-Jospeh, assistant hunter to the local squire. He mocks her as "Geierwally" (Vulture-Wally), as he thinks young women shouldn't wear pants and climb around in the mountains hunting. What he doesn't yet know is that Wally is almost mad with love for him - and too stiff with pride to admit the slightest idea of that. To make it complicated, her father wants her to marry Vinzenz, a neighbouring farmer. But Wally, loathing Vinzenz and burning with desire for Joseph refuses. Mad with frenzy, Old Fender bludgeons her with a heavy stick, and, as she still won't budge, he orders her away to a sole hut high up in the mountains, where she has to live in snow and ice beyond the ... Written by Haddoque

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Plot Keywords:

vulture | love | alps | based on novel | See All (4) »


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

12 August 1940 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Havasi vasmadár  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Die Geierwally (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Stupid story, fantastic face
7 June 2007 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Well, the movie's of course booby-trapped as hell. The story is kitsch

  • although meticulously woven - , the leading actress was a

controversial figure, the production year is 1940 and the production country is Nazi Germany. The story meets the "Blut und Boden" ("blood and soil") ideology of the Nazis, the end is reactionary: craving, proud and stubborn Wally's got her mind set right by her beloved Joseph. The story of a young, intrepid and determined young woman refusing to fit into the patriarchical values and routines ends with her humiliation and total submission. She kneels at Joseph's feet in the snow, with the tame vulture, companion in her days of rebellion, swaying and soaring away as she no longer needs or wants to rebel....Yeah, it's reactionary kitsch, but it's rich, juicy, heavy kitsch, because apart from all that there's Hatheyer! In the opening scenes you see any young beautiful woman doing man's work. That wouldn't qualify for more than early-afternoon-drama. But then see her looking at Joseph for the first time: what she does with her eyes in the fragment of a second would take Cardinale and Loren and Lollobrigida and Monroe and Gardner several years! Jolie and Lopez can't dot hat at all! From then on it's melodrama: see her crying and weeping under the bludgeon of her father! See her in trance over the clouds, hating the world for outcasting her! After tables having turned, see her coldly reprimanding her maid for secretly having a date! See her triumphantly denouncing her supposed rival Afra as an illegitimate bitch! See her blessed and ecstatic after Joseph' kiss! See her almost swooning after being humiliated in front of the whole village... Hatheyer convincingly portrays an independent and obviously mercurial young woman, and she convincingly shows how that young woman quickly changes from a spite-all rebel to a stern mistress, as in her new position Wally behaves as harsh and authoritarian as her father did. Hatheyer lets us know it's still the same person. It's Hatheyer's attempt to control untamed emotion that seems to be the actual plot of the film, and it's her play that actually saves the film from its plot and message. Still, there's realistic folklore to be noted, some beautiful takes of high mountain scenery, and some mildly comic episodes. Recommendation: forget the plot and the end, enjoy the sidelines and slapsticks, watch Hatheyer!

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