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Edwin E. Reed
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High-spirited young Ossi Oswalda is the bane of her uncle and governess' existence. She insists on playing poker and smoking and talks with strange men on the street. When her uncle leaves to take up a new job, she looks forward to enjoying new freedom. Her hopes are dashed when her new guardian Dr. Kersten proves to be strict and unyielding. Frustrated with her cloistered life, Ossi sneaks out on the town dressed as a young man. She finds that being a man has its own disadvantages when she discovers she is not given the same gentle treatment when she is masquerading as a male.
The film was released in the US by Kino Lorber as part of the box set "Lubitsch in Berlin" in 2007 with English intertitles. It was also released in the UK by Eureka's Masters of Cinema series as part of the box set "Lubitsch in Berlin: Fairy-Tales, Melodramas, and Sex Comedies" in 2010 with German intertitles and English subtitles. See more »
Excellent Comedy Vehicle That Challenges Gender Stereotypes
This is a an excellent comedy vehicle for German silent film star Ossi Oswalda. She plays a young tomboy who, unable to leave the house at night in female attire, dresses up as a boy and has a whale of a time at a local dance. She attracts the - unwelcome - attention of a gaggle of females, flirts outrageously with one man, makes fun of others kissing, and ends up spending the evening with another young man. There are some very funny farcical routines - notably one scene where Ossi, apparently drunk, tries her best not to go into the gents restroom, moves towards the ladies, and is shooed away by some irate women. Eventually she and the young man travel home together, and end up in one another's arms kissing. Lubitsch's film offers some of the challenges to gender stereotypes that would be offered a decade and a half later in Hollywood films such as QUEEN Christina (1932). Oswalda makes a convincing man, proving beyond doubt that male courtship rituals are simple, to say the least. The action rattles along at a brisk pace, leading to a predictable conclusion, but ICH MOCHTE KEIN MANN SEIN remains highly watchable.
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