In Franz Joseph I's Vienna, captain Eichfeld publishes a witty satire on imperial Austrian army abuses, using the Spectator pseudonym. It's popular, but Eichfled dares not reveal his ... See full summary »
Richard Heuberger's 'Der Opernball' is not quite one of the greatest operettas like 'Die Fledermaus' and 'Die Lustige Witwe', containing a corny and old-fashioned story where one really has to suspend disbelief in places.
However, it has a lot of enjoyment and charm, with comedy that genuinely entertains, has charming characters and while there are slightly more memorable operetta scores the music is beautiful and tuneful, the most famous being "Im Chambre Séparée" (colloquial for "Komm Mit Mir Ins Chambre Séparée").
This 1956 film of 'Opernball' (a colour remake of the also enjoyable 1939 film in black and white) does a good job maintaining the fun and charm. The comedy really does sparkle, and the storytelling is elaborate and snappily paced with plenty of parts to make one laugh and go ah. It does start off a little slow and it doesn't do enough to make a couple of the antics less corny and suspension of disbelief is very much needed for when the women are disguised.
'Opernball' is stunningly filmed in colour, with sumptuously elegant costumes and sets, while the music is still beautiful and tuneful and performed with liveliness and attractive tone. It's solidly directed too, and boasts fun and truly exuberant performances from the whole cast, from the young leads to the returning show-stealing antics of Hans Moser and Theo Lingen.
In conclusion, enjoyable and charming. Worth tracking down, both the 1939 and 1956 films as of now can be found in full on Youtube. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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