The way to a man's heart.....
Adapted by Franz Schulz from the play by Carl Sternheim and directed by Hans Berendt this 'blend of grand burlesque and satire', in the words of Potamkin, was considered too highbrow by the critics but proved to be a great success with the paying public. It is immensely enjoyable with some splendid comic touches. The plot is perfectly simple. Owing to what would now be termed a 'wardrobe malfunction' at a public event the pretty wife of a pompous, petty official becomes an object of desire for a fifth-rate poet, a hapless young barber and a Prince Charming. Needless to say she chooses the latter but has a pang of conscience and returns to hubby who is decorated and promoted by the Prince as a reward for his complacency. The playing is faultless all round. The lovely Jenny Jugo plays the wife,Rudolph Forster the poet, Veit Harlan the barber and there is a marvellous comic turn by Olga Limburg as the 'woman across the street'. The official,Theobald Maske, is another of the unforgettable gallery of characters created by the superlative Werner Krauss. He is self-satisfaction incarnate and is far more concerned with matters of the stomach than the heart. Krauss was a master of make up and the real star of this film is his outrageous moustache! Interesting to see Harlan as a young actor. He made his directorial debut(uncredited) eight years later and went on to become one of the most distinguished and notorious of directors. Director Berendt however went on to perish in Auschwitz. I found this film on You Tube to be far more enjoyable once I had turned down the intrusive and aggravating score that has been tacked on. Should your musical ear be as sensitive as mine, I advise you to do the same. Whatever happened to solo piano accompaniment?!
- Dec 25, 2019
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