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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
On the voyage to nowhere, without return, 7 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

He's had his money stolen, he's been deported, he's been more or less shanghaied. He's been depraved to a degree that he considers the successful theft of a couple of tins of plum butter from the ship's cargo a revelation and even redemption. Unfortunately the plum butter tastes of the ammunition it is to conceal. Things could not become better after that, no, they are to get even worse. I saw the movie in late 1969, when I was twelve and the movie was ten years old, and I remember it to have been terribly haunting. Actually, it's the only movie I can remember so far where you can see a man shoved overboard and left drowning, desperately paddling and screaming for help as he is disappearing in the distant keel water of the Yorikke. Altogether the movie is fine. There is no attempt at adding any artificial depth and insight into Traven's original novel, and his direct, uncompromising and unsentimental style is congenially caught in the movie.There are no moralizing traits, and no lengthy dialogues. The shots are clear and unpretentious, the details are correct. The scenery is not exaggeratedly squalid or repulsive, in short: it's at no time a film set you see, but real sea-life. It is as if the camera just had followed a tramp at the bottom of his luck and filmed what was to be seen in any European port and on any ragged cargo ship in those days. In fact, traveling the Baltic, the North Sea and the Mediterranean in regular intervals in the sixties, you might have met some of the Yorikke crew... Buchholz, Adorf and Sommer are at the beginnings of their international careers. They're young, fresh, and without mannerism, so Adorf's animalistic furor and Buchholz' moodiness are left to vividly and uninhibitedly express the disillusionment and despair of those on a voyage with no return.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Stupid story, fantastic face, 7 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, the movie's of course booby-trapped as hell. The story is kitsch - although meticulously woven - , the leading actress was a controversial figure, the production year is 1940 and the production country is Nazi Germany. The story meets the "Blut und Boden" ("blood and soil") ideology of the Nazis, the end is reactionary: craving, proud and stubborn Wally's got her mind set right by her beloved Joseph. The story of a young, intrepid and determined young woman refusing to fit into the patriarchical values and routines ends with her humiliation and total submission. She kneels at Joseph's feet in the snow, with the tame vulture, companion in her days of rebellion, swaying and soaring away as she no longer needs or wants to rebel....Yeah, it's reactionary kitsch, but it's rich, juicy, heavy kitsch, because apart from all that there's Hatheyer! In the opening scenes you see any young beautiful woman doing man's work. That wouldn't qualify for more than early-afternoon-drama. But then see her looking at Joseph for the first time: what she does with her eyes in the fragment of a second would take Cardinale and Loren and Lollobrigida and Monroe and Gardner several years! Jolie and Lopez can't dot hat at all! From then on it's melodrama: see her crying and weeping under the bludgeon of her father! See her in trance over the clouds, hating the world for outcasting her! After tables having turned, see her coldly reprimanding her maid for secretly having a date! See her triumphantly denouncing her supposed rival Afra as an illegitimate bitch! See her blessed and ecstatic after Joseph' kiss! See her almost swooning after being humiliated in front of the whole village... Hatheyer convincingly portrays an independent and obviously mercurial young woman, and she convincingly shows how that young woman quickly changes from a spite-all rebel to a stern mistress, as in her new position Wally behaves as harsh and authoritarian as her father did. Hatheyer lets us know it's still the same person. It's Hatheyer's attempt to control untamed emotion that seems to be the actual plot of the film, and it's her play that actually saves the film from its plot and message. Still, there's realistic folklore to be noted, some beautiful takes of high mountain scenery, and some mildly comic episodes. Recommendation: forget the plot and the end, enjoy the sidelines and slapsticks, watch Hatheyer!

Peril (1985)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A paradoxical mystery you hope you never solve, 1 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the movies that keep on running long after you've stopped watching. One of those paradoxical stories, that become the more confused the more one understands. One of those one is tempted to watch again and again, hoping to understand this time, at the same time anxious to spoil the commitment by finally finding out what it's all about. Perhaps paradox is the key. Nicole Garcia's tempting beyond all limits turns out to be destruction (poor telephone!), Piccoli's apparent impotence turns out to be masterminding some hideous plan, Bohringer's menacing ways lead to redemption. The more Malavoy gets into the mess, the more lustfully he ventures on getting even deeper into it. Malavoy's father hands the little time-bomb to his son as if it was his old watch or camera, wishing him luck and grinning as if it's been just another visit of a beloved child. And things become boring once they're solved and all the hoods dead. What's left is a country community on an old farm. Who wouldn't yearn to be back in the beautiful and elegant bourgeois world Malavoy and his pupil have just left, the corruption and conspiracy it conceals below an innocent surface not being an odd, but the matter you actually want.