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Lowlands (1954)

Tiefland (original title)
Set in the early part of 20th century Europe. There lived a dancer who becomes the romantic bone of contention between a humble shepherd and an imperious marquis.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Bernhard Minetti ... Don Sebastian, Marquès von Roccabruna
... Martha, eine spanische Betteltänzerin
Aribert Wäscher ... Camillo, Verwalter des Don Sebastian
Karl Skraup ... Bürgermeister
Maria Koppenhöfer ... Donna Amelia, seine Tochter
Franz Eichberger ... Pedro, der Schafhirte
Luis Rainer ... Nando, ein alter Hirte
Frida Richard ... Josefa, eine alte Magd (as Frieda Richard)
Max Holzboer ... Der Müller Natario (as Max Holsboer)
Charlotte Komp
Mena Mair ... Die Müllerin
Hans Lackner
Walter Brückner
Bekuch Hamid
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Storyline

Set in the early part of 20th century Europe. There lived a dancer who becomes the romantic bone of contention between a humble shepherd and an imperious marquis.

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Drama | Romance | Musical

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Release Date:

April 1954 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Lowlands  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leni Riefenstahl deposited a quantity of unused material with the Bundesarchiv, the German national archives. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Leni Riefenstahl's last masterpiece and farewell
25 September 2017 | by See all my reviews

Her last film is an amazing testimony to her amazing mastership as not only a director but innovator of photography and filming. In every way it is a unique film for its picture composition, for its performances (with herself as the dancing gypsy) and above all for its virtuoso camera work. The highlights are of course the introducing fight with the wolf and its sequel, the other fight in the finale. The dramatic tension is extreme in all the scenes out of the village, while the village as a contrast appears as a den of evil and intrigue.

The story is simple. A marquess has money problems and therefore wants to marry a rich heiress, the daughter of the mayor, and there is nothing wrong with that, they actually get married, but the marquess also falls in love with the dancing gypsy girl. In order to have both he makes a double marriage, the other one being a fake, as he marries the gypsy to a naïve but very honest shepherd. As a powerful patron he thinks he can use the shepherd's marriage as a cover for keeping his mistress, but of course it doesn't quite work out as he had thought.

Leni Riefenstahl was 52 when she completed the film, which she had worked on for many years during the war difficulties, and her performance is perhaps the most amazing of the three main characters - she was also a dancer as a young woman, but when you see her dancing here it's impossible to guess that she is more than 35 at most.

The music also adds to the extreme romanticism and drama of the film. Eugene d'Albert was the composer, and it's the Vienna Philharmonics. It couldn't be better.

Many have tried to interpret the film politically, turning it to her settlement with Nazism (the theme of the fight with the wolf), but that is doing the film an injustice. She was never actually interested in politics and knew nothing about it, she was merely interested in art, especially pictures and aestheticism, and the film is nothing but a dramatic-romantic work of art driven to extremes. Is is as unique and outstanding as the best works of Orson Welles and Hitchcock but of a totally different and even more unique kind.


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