A young shoemaker is arrested for stealing a small amount of money, and is released after being jailed for 15 years. He wants to have a pass to get a job and start anew, but without a job ... See full summary »
This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.
Josef von Báky
A small town man wins a travel paper's poetry contest, aiming at the third prize - an exotic trip for two. Instead he gets pre-paid flying course - a thing he definitely is not fond of. He decides to call it quits after day one, but upon returning home finds he's the toast of the provincial town as the first flier to emerge. So there's really nothing left to do than to return and make the best of flying. Heinz Rühmann, who can be very tiresome as well as truly lovable, is quite good and self depreciating as a small time ace of the air wannabe. The romance with the compulsory love interest Karin Himboldt doesn't really sizzle, since she does rarely anything else than wrinkle her nose and giggle. The camera work is exceptionally good, and at some points you wonder how they achieved such mobility with contemporary clumsy apparatus. The film also features the super hit of WW II The Stars of the Home Land, so I trust it was a popular film during its time. Some might see it as a propaganda vehicle, but German propaganda films were very subtle (and thus effective), so you won't find a hint of anything irritating. More so - with all the children's choirs and blond girls clad in national costumes, all stupidly praising the office rat pretending to be a big time flier, it seems to be poking fun at the system. A sequel - Quax in Africa - was filmed in 1944 to be released early in 1945, but didn't get a screening before 1947 in Sweden and 1953 in Germany. Be sure to check that one out too.
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