"Geierwally" is a West German movie from 1988, so this one will have its 30th anniversary next year. The director and one of the two writers who adapted Wilhelmine von Hillern's original work is Walter Bockmayer. The version I watched ran for slightly over 80 minutes and looking at the number of ratings here on IMDb, this is probably the most known version of the story by now, even if these adaptations go back to the days of silent film and this one here is certainly not the closest to the story. The title character is played by Samy Orfgen and I must admit I don't know who she is. I heard of Joy Fleming though, who was originally considered for the role and we still hear her sing on one occasion in here. I guess they wanted to go more for the German type eventually. This film is set in the mountains and tells us the story of a woman who is told to marry one man, but in love with another. In order to "come to her senses" she is sent up high to the mountains and told not to return before she has changed her mind.
Sounds like a relatively tragic story doesn't it? Well.. it may be tragic in other adaptations, but here it definitely is not. Instead the film makes fun of basically everything and everybody from start to finish. Lots of music in here, including a really hilarious song early on by Elisabeth Volkmann. She is perhaps the most known cast member too. Other contenders would be Fassbinder regular Barbara Valentin and, by today's standards, the really young Veronica Ferres. So yeah, this film is all about parody and comedy. But most of the time, it is more on the bizarre side than on the entertaining side. One example would be Ralph Morgenstern running around in drag all the time as perhaps also an homage to men dressing up as women in many older films including big name show masters from Germany actually, like Peter Alexander, Rudi Carrell, Thomas Gottschalk or Mike Krüger. All in all, this film is probably what "Der Schuh des Manitu" would have looked like had it been made before the Fall of the German Wall. Maybe also one reason why this film turned out so crass and over-the-top with regard to everything is because they wanted to make such a strong contrast and shoe everybody that a film like this could never have been made in the GDR. No idea. From a creative perspective though I cannot say this was a success by any means and it hasn't aged well at all. Even if the music was decent occasionally, I cannot give it more than two stars out of five. It's a hot mess. But not one worth watching, so I suggest you skip it.
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