Someone should do a book on the making of this one. It might represent the best blindsiding of the Nazi regime by artists who had scores to settle. I'm always amazed and grateful it made it past the censor. First, the writer, Erich Kastner, was blacklisted, a Jew, and had his books burned by the Nazis. But they were SO desperate for a good writer they got him on board for this. You sense they wanted world distribution....even down to the product placement shot of a Munchausen children's book Albers is holding before the flashback. Hans Albers, the Brad Pitt of his day, was forced to give up his Jewish girlfriend, Hansi Berg, and work for the Nazis. He sent her money in London all through WWII. She made it out in '38 escaping with her Dad. Dad (Eugen Berg) was not as lucky. He got caught and sent to the camps. He died there in '44. Kastner's script pokes fun of ALL authority, and embraces life itself, and urges the viewer to wake up and take it all in before it's too late; the Baron turns down power to enjoy life, and always has time for a good meal or a hot date. The photography is excellent, the KINO restoration the one to get..Carnival in Venice is wonderful to see and you find bits of humor and wit and set decoration that survived to the 80's version..but there is a haunting, melancholy air to this version, even when everyone is enjoying themselves...the writer knows too quickly everything can just GO and you're best to enjoy what you can while you can. I sometimes see a sad, long look in Hans Albers eyes...is he wondering if he would ever see his gal again? Does he KNOW where her Dad is? What does he THINK of the Nazis?? As it was, Kastner lived to 1974, the richest of the lot, when Disney made his two most famous books (Parent Trap, Emil and the Detectives) into movies. He is the only cast member who's name is associated with a Lindsay Lohan movie. Hansi came back to Hans and they lived together until Albers' death in 1960. She died in 1975.
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