I love this movie. It has beautiful Tyrolian mountain landscapes filmed in lovely, late-50s color that German Heimatfilms are so well-known for.
Poor Walburga (Wally - pronounced Volley - not like Beaver's brother Wally); her heartless father wants her to marry the ambitious, creepy, cruel and possessive foreman Vinzenz. She, however, is in love with the jovial hunter Baerenjosef. When she refuses her father's demand that she marry Vinzenz, her father banishes her to their high alpine summer cabin near the glacier - where she must endure a harsh winter without any human companionship - but not alone.
She has a vulture to keep her company. She rescues and cares for a juvenile vulture who is (IRONICALLY) helpless because her hunter has killed its mother. The two become inseparable - and she earns her disparaging nickname - die Geierwally (the Vulture-wally).
During a later visit to her father's farm, she hits Vinzenz in the head with a stick to protect an elderly servant from a beating at the hands of Vinzenz. Her father wants her locked in a barn - and, in an effort to avoid capture, ends up setting fire to the barn. She then runs away and finds asylum at the home of two bachelor mountain guide brothers.
When the bachelor mountain guide brothers become jealous of one another's apparent affection for Wally, Wally moves out of their home into their high alpine summer cabin - where her hunter Baerenjosef stumbles across her path once again.
But this time, he is not alone. He is with a woman!!! Wally, who has lived alone and in exile for her love of the hunter is furiously jealous that he would be with this beautiful young woman who OBVIOUSLY must be a rival for her affections. Of course, Wally does not ask who she is and makes no attempt to find out. She merely ASSUMES and makes an . . . , well you know the story. It also does not help that the Vulture recognizes the hunter as the man who shot his mother.
It takes several more misunderstandings, revenge humiliations, the death of her father, a murder attempt and a mountain rescue to resolve the tangled mess - but in the end, Wally and Baerenjosef finally profess their love for one another and live happily ever after.
The only loser in all of this is the Vulture - who, unwilling to share the one he loves, flies off alone. The End.
But really, despite the over-the-top melodrama (or maybe because of it) - this is a wonderful movie that holds up after multiple viewings.
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