Between the beginnings of the Swiss feature length movies in the 30ies and the middle of the 50ies, the cinematographic landscape was practically ruled by three directors alone: Franz Schnyder, Leopold Lindtberg, and Hermann Haller. While the latter had been mostly classified as "artistic collaborator", "assistant director" or even only "cutter", especially Schnyder's movies were famous and infamous at the same time for the strong propagandistic style. While this is true for most of Schnyder's later works, the often heard criticism at "Gilberte De Courgenay" is not just. First, one is astonished to hear the sentence given in the title out of the mouth of Kanonier Hasler ("The war that YOU (i.e. the old generation) have started"), then, generally, what we see about the discipline of the Swiss army is anything else than great: Besides the parade towards the end, brought up to give Mr. Odermatt the chance to change his opinion about the discipline in the army, we see the soldiers almost exclusively drinking in the railway-station restaurant in Courgenay. Although they are in charge, Hasler says in one episode that in the morning, he drank a whole bottle of schnapps. The only time when the soldiers are shown out in the field, they are served tea with cognac by Tilly. So what the basic purpose of this movie nowadays is, is to serve as a collection of all those nice and funny little episodes that ancient military colleagues use to tell one another to the hundredth time, when sitting in the restaurants and glorifying the "good old times". If one is able to look away from this so-called Froentler-Mentality, one should let this film live (it is shown once a year by the Swiss National TV) and enjoy to meet again all those great actors who dominated the Swiss film scene during decades, such as Anne-Marie Blanc, Erwin Kohlund, Zarli Carigiet, Heinrich Gretler, Schaggi Streuli, Max Knapp, Rudolf Bernhard ... .
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?