It was in a 1963 interview that Willy Forst said that from 1938 onwards he made his most Austrian films. That is: he showed an Austria that had ceased to be, even as a fantasy.
Operette is a fine example. It has charm, tenderness and wit; it is galant and melancholic. Forst's directing is as always that of the light touch which gives the film a feeling of charm (though the influence of Karl Hartl is unclear to me). Of course Forst was helped by a very good script by his regular (co)writer Eggebrecht, that cleverly and plausibly romanticizes the lives of 3 main operetta composers.
It brought together 2 gentlemen of the German/Austrian cinema: Forst himself and Siegfried Breuer in main parts. The overall splendid cast includes Curd Jürgens who is almost unrecognizable. The music is played brilliantly by the Wiener Philharmoniker; the ballets and dances are graceful.
That is what film is about: to bring back alive an already dead fantasy.
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