According to the very wide-spread Communist Swiss film history by Wider and Aeppli ("Der Schweizer Film 1929-1964", 2 vols. Zurich: Limmat Verlag 1981), "(Kurt) Früh's work merged soon into clumsy goofing-off (Unbeholfene Blödeleien)", vol. 1, p. 21. According to the same authors, "The 42nd Heaven" is characterized by "dilettante use of the film language" (p. 25). The final verdict stands on p. 511: The 42nd Heaven be "one of the worst movies that have surely ever been made".
In reality, this first Swiss musical is a wild Pot-Pourri that subsumes elements from Vaudeville to Dadaism, and from Surrealism to the early phase of Concretism. It has been made in two different versions, a Swiss and a German one, and in both there is a cast of the best actors of this genre that Früh could wish and for him even later generations envied him. Many songs have become independent, e.g. the Butcher-Song of Margrit Rainer. The idea that Wendelin Pfannenstiel has won a fortune from an uncle in Australia who became rich by breeding kangaroos strives the genial. Clearly surrealist episodes like Pfannenstiel walking with his bear "August" along the shores of Lake Zürich have become as famous as certain paintings of Salvador Dali. Had Früh already his earlier movies ("Hinter Den Sieben Gleisen", "Es Dach Über Em Chopf") clearly declared as fairy-tales, he takes in "The 42nd Heaven" the last consequences and abolished every social angles by which his forms stories were still bound in "reality". The typical old-town-Zürich background shrinks into a mere decor (the episodes could be played everywhere), there is no homogeneous use of Swiss dialects anymore (Margrit Rainer speaks Zürich German, her "husband" Peter W. Staub,like Roderer, broad St. Galler German. The Bürgermeister (mayor) of Zürich speaks Bernese dialect (!),and Wendelins best friend Alfons speaks Basel German. Moreover, most parts of the narration are dissolved into songs which renders the story a specific lightness that we find back perhaps only in Jacques Demy's wonderful and miraculous works. A whole new genre for the Swiss movie has been invented by Kurt Früh.
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