An unbelievably light-hearted comedy with music, pretty girls and quite a many laughs.
This film was shot during 1943 as a sequel to the first "Quax" film, passed censorship in February 1945, but wasn't shown in Germany until ten years after being shot. As many German films of 1945 it was premiered in Sweden a few years after the war.
Heinz Rühmann was and is immensely popular, even though his character hasn't aged very well. Here he is surprisingly cool and matter-of-fact, suave like a Victorian villain, but still the boy next door that was expected of him. In this film we also have his beautiful real life wife Hertha Feiler, who was of Jewish origin but remained very popular during the Nazi regime. She looks extremely glamorous, especially in the Spanish dance scene. She replaces Karin Himboldt as Quax's love interest, and it was a good decision, since Miss Himboldt, still in the film but more in supporting cast, was pretty ineffective in the first film.
The production is definitely "A". Though it's filmed in Germany, we do get a rather good African feeling once the action is transported there (via Spain, where a memorable night is spent), with a real native African tribe instead of German actors painted black. Yes, the girls have bare breasts! It would be interesting to know who they were, since the girl Banani that Quax is forced to marry is not only very beautiful but also quite obviously an actress. The Axis forces in Africa surrendered on May 12, 1943 - two months before the shooting started. Perhaps that's the reason, why this film wasn't released during the Nazi regime - it was a painful reminder of the kingdom lost, and the hope that Africa might be taken back still remained until the very last. There is no more racism depicting the Africans than in an Indiana Jones film. The person who provided all the charming key words to this film, such as Colonialism, Racism, Chauvinism, Arrogance, Spoof, Stupidity and Trash in one miserably sicko individual.
The film is well written and there are quite a few laughs, which are quite different and more sophisticated from the laughs in the first film in the series. Note the way the young fliers laugh in chorus when Quax calls one of them a midget - it might have been unintentional, but it's a very Montypythonian touch. Also the idea of a guy practicing trombone nightly under the blanket in total silence is something that I've never come across before.
An interesting fact: when the leading characters fly over Italy, we see what seems to be the historical huge Mote Cassino monastery, that was virtually pulverized by the Allied bombers in February 1944. Because of the historical significance of the ancient Benedictine monastery, in December 1943, the German commander-in-chief in Italy, Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, ordered German units not to include the monastery itself in German defensive positions, and informed the Allies accordingly. That it was still leveled to the ground, was probably one of the greatest losses of the War.
It's not absolutely necessary to see the first Quax film, but it helps.
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