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Ave Maria (1953)

| Drama | 1957 (USA)
Karin Twerdy used to be an opera singer but now, in order to pay for her daughter Daniela's education in a religious school, she performs in a shady nightclub. Industrialist Dietrich ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karin Twerdy aka Maria Talland
Hans Stüwe ...
Dietrich Gontard
Marianne Hold ...
Daniela Twerdy
Hilde Körber ...
Schwester Benedikta
Carl Wery ...
Dr. Melartin
Ingrid Pan ...
Christa Gontard
Hans Henn ...
Thomas Gontard
Hedwig Wangel ...
Die Oberin
Charlotte Scheier-Herold ...
Schwester Luitgard
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur ...
Dr. Rieser
Josef Sieber ...
Hans Stiebner ...
Berta Drews ...
Kerstin Melartin
Elisabeth Wendt ...
Lisa Nilsson
Etta Braun ...


Karin Twerdy used to be an opera singer but now, in order to pay for her daughter Daniela's education in a religious school, she performs in a shady nightclub. Industrialist Dietrich Gontard, the father of Karin's school friend Christa, falls for her. But when he learns the truth about her he is outraged and rejects her. At a loss and not to stand in the way of Daniela's future, Karin chooses to disappear... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destino de uma Mulher  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


German censorship visa # 06438 delivered on 21-8-1953. See more »


Ave Maria
(formerly known as "Méditation sur le premier prélude de piano" de Johann Sebastian Bach
Composed by Charles Gounod
Performed by Zarah Leander
See more »

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A hoary story of mother love
30 October 2014 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

Karin Twerdy (what a name) keeps her secret life as the owner of a sleazy German cabaret from teenage daughter Daniela by renting a mansion whenever the girl's home from convent school and putting on a respectable front. When Daniela brings her boyfriend and his wealthy father home for vacation, things go swimmingly until the boy's dad recognizes Karin and sanctimoniously tells her she should "disappear from this world" for the sake of the young couple's happiness. Karin takes it to heart and boards a train for Finland, sharing a compartment with Lisa Nilsson, a war widow who's alone in the world and enroute to a housekeeper's job sight unseen. In a sudden fit of despair, Lisa throws herself from the train and Karin impulsively swipes her documents and passes herself off as the dead woman...

There's more, of course, in a hoary story of mother love and sacrifice that was old when MADAME X was new and looks to be cobbled together from the Barbara Stanwyck starrers STELLA DALLAS and NO MAN OF HER OWN. A larger-than-life diva like Joan Crawford or Lana turner could probably pull off a preposterous tear-jerking "star vehicle" like this but Zarah Leander lacks the magnetism and professional polish those gals had in middle-age. That said, the lady sings divinely (once as a nightclub chantoozy and twice in church) and was as popular in Nazi Germany as Joan and Lana were in the free world. This film was the third in a come- back of sorts for Leander who was persona non grata in her adopted country after the war because, when the going got rough, Zarah got going -back to her native Sweden, that is. She's not a bad-looking woman but her figure can only be described as "matronly" and her acting as "somnambulistic". The songs, the outlandish plot developments, the nuns, the religious symbolism, and the carnival clown keep things lively and the camp value is undeniable. Not reely recommended but quite something to see, nonetheless.

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