An Austrian girl is forced to marry for the sake of the family, rather than for love, which causes her great pain when the man she truly loves commits suicide, rather than see her married ...
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A forger returns to his family when he leaves jail vowing to go straight. Although approached by an international counterfeiting gang he keeps his word only to find his nephew is in the ... See full summary »
An Austrian girl is forced to marry for the sake of the family, rather than for love, which causes her great pain when the man she truly loves commits suicide, rather than see her married to another. Her life takes another turn for the worse when the Nazis rise to power and her Jewish ancestry creates problems. The woman takes steps to do right by herself after vowing to never allow someone else to determine her fate.
As an adolescent,I first saw this film on our black-and-white TV. I was deeply moved by it then, so much so that over fifty years later I still remember some scenes vividly. First there is the luminous Maria Schell, who dominates the post WWII story. She is a gifted, but impoverished, pianist who marries the scion of the great piano-manufacturing family that is the heart of the story. If I remember correctly, the family is part Jewish and had paid dearly under Nazi persecution. One son in the preceding generation even falls under the spell of the Nazis in the thirties and forties.
The saga begins with the Jewish founder of the firm and his aristocratic. non-Jewish wife. This marriage has its own problems. I will not spoil it by recounting several touching scenes, for the wife is close to the Hapsburg court and gets intimately involved with the decline of that unhappy family. The drama begins slowly, but builds momentum as the family saga continues.
A film worth seeing. It is riveting and encapsulates Austrian history from pre WWI to post WWII. Unfortunately it is not available in any format, anywhere in the English-speaking market. The Ernst Lothar novel is available from used book dealers and (perhaps) in some libraries. Pity!
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