1930's German Films - Underestimated?

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Aaron1927

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1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 6:49 am

I never realized how wonderful German films were in the 1930's, particularly German musical comedies. Here is a tribute I made to German film music of the 1930's. :D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHMPK8cXQfU




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Last edited by silentfilm on Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
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wingate

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 7:46 am

Isnt wonderful a strange adjective,particularly if applied to triumph of thé will
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Spiny Norman

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 8:58 am

wingate wrote:Isnt wonderful a strange adjective,particularly if applied to triumph of thé will
Godwin on the second post, wow. I rarely saw someone so completely missing the point. Which is that life continued and wasn't 24/7 about evil ideology. But your reply is exactly the reason why these movies are so unknown and why there may be some unexpected treasures among them.
I would certainly call Sprengbagger 1010 and Amphitryon wonderful.

Hollywood movies aren't suddenly evil as of 2017 either. Bad, perhaps, but not any more evil than they were before.

(Also, FYI, your own country isn't exactly innocent either; the British used concentration camps before the Germans did, and were still invading other countries this century.)
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boblipton

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 9:20 am

A few years ago, in the wake of a thread around here that was curated with rather a heavy hand, several of us clubbed together and purchased twenty or so Dvd-r copies of German from the early talkie era and found them the usual mix of good and bad. I don't recall the title of the thread, but it's been inactive for at least a couple of years and pretty well shot to Heck the sort of " everything is Proto-Fascist or Pre-Fascist or occasionally Anti-Fascist, so the director had to leave the country" model propagated by Kracauer.

Bob
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 9:38 am

boblipton wrote:A few years ago, in the wake of a thread around here that was curated with rather a heavy hand, several of us clubbed together and purchased twenty or so Dvd-r copies of German from the early talkie era and found them the usual mix of good and bad. I don't recall the title of the thread, but it's been inactive for at least a couple of years and pretty well shot to Heck the sort of " everything is Proto-Fascist or Pre-Fascist or occasionally Anti-Fascist, so the director had to leave the country" model propagated by Kracauer.

Bob


Here's the thread you speak of, Bob. Makes for pretty lively reading, at times:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19364
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brianwyn

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSat Oct 07, 2017 3:33 pm

Most of the films in the attached clip are pre-nazi, so I don't see the need some have to jump in quite so aggressively. Anyway:

The first clip is from Einbrecher which was nominally set in Paris, not Berlin. Most of the band are black Americans in a sort of voluntary exile since they couldn't get work in the USA. Among their number is Sidney Bechet. The worst excesses of the club decor, at least to modern eyes (including little stuffed monkeys attached to the spinning mirror balls) have been neatly edited out, but the fact that this was a club largely aimed at blacks is an integral part of the plot. Unlike the easily excised black segments of Hollywood films from the same period. And Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey were probably the biggest box office draws in Germany at the time.

The blonde at 2:30 is Rosy Barsony in Liebe muss verstanden sein ( film is here on You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG_D2hap2BM, no subs), a take on the Coppelia story. Barsony is a great comedienne, and appeared in a lot of the Paul Abraham operettas, both filmed and on the stage. I think she and her husband, Oscar Denes, played a couple on the London stage too. Never as a film couple, mind, because he was about 30 years older than her, and not in a Tom Cruise sort of way. I'm not sure whether that particular film predates the nazis or not, since I've seen both sides claim it. She moved back to Budapest in the mid thirties, and even though she was jewish she somehow survived the war.

As an interesting aside, a lot of the jews forced out of Germany in the early thirties moved to Hungary and Austria and had a similar effect there as they did in America. Joe Pasternak originally made his name with a series of dual language films (German and Hungarian) starring Franciska Gaal, most of which he remade in the US for Deanna Durbin. And in his original version of Bachelor Mother, that you probably know through the Ginger Rogers version (and hopefully not the Debbie Reynolds abomination), the heroine was not originally a shop worker, but a schoolgirl, who was expelled and then forced to find a job in a department store ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw4MOXVgMKI" target="_blank if you can manage German or read Hungarian - the opening also has echoes of Busby Berkely's Palmy Days ). TV Duna shows early Hungarian films most weekend. You can get it on satellite in Europe at the rather odd location of 9E, or otherwise via http://www.mediaklikk.hu/duna/" target="_blank if you can work it out

The Marika Rokk clip at 8:20 (did the composer ever get royalties from the Muppets?) and the sequence following (I don't recognise that film) make it clear that the one thing German cinema never had was a good choreographer. But did any country other than the USA?

Your years are all jumbled, but the clip at at 11:30 is from 1932's Das Blaue vom Himmel, with Martha Eggerth. That one's partly scripted by Billy Wilder, and although there's no way of knowing which bits were his there are a number of moments that just feel Wilder. Plus there are a couple of fun songs from Paul Abraham.
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Spiny Norman

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 7:23 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
boblipton wrote:A few years ago, in the wake of a thread around here that was curated with rather a heavy hand, several of us clubbed together and purchased twenty or so Dvd-r copies of German from the early talkie era and found them the usual mix of good and bad. I don't recall the title of the thread, but it's been inactive for at least a couple of years and pretty well shot to Heck the sort of " everything is Proto-Fascist or Pre-Fascist or occasionally Anti-Fascist, so the director had to leave the country" model propagated by Kracauer.

Bob


Here's the thread you speak of, Bob. Makes for pretty lively reading, at times:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19364" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
And that was pre-2017. In my personal opinion anyone living in the US today is slightly less entitled than last year to look down on 1933 Germany as "something that could never happen here".


Poor old Kracauer was a jew writing in 1946, so even if he did loose perspective, I guess it would have been really very hard for him to remain more scientific.
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boblipton

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Re: 1930's German Films - Underestimated?

PostSun Oct 08, 2017 11:36 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
boblipton wrote:A few years ago, in the wake of a thread around here that was curated with rather a heavy hand, several of us clubbed together and purchased twenty or so Dvd-r copies of German from the early talkie era and found them the usual mix of good and bad. I don't recall the title of the thread, but it's been inactive for at least a couple of years and pretty well shot to Heck the sort of " everything is Proto-Fascist or Pre-Fascist or occasionally Anti-Fascist, so the director had to leave the country" model propagated by Kracauer.

Bob


Here's the thread you speak of, Bob. Makes for pretty lively reading, at times:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19364" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
And that was pre-2017. In my personal opinion anyone living in the US today is slightly less entitled than last year to look down on 1933 Germany as "something that could never happen here".

Poor old Kracauer was a jew writing in 1946, so even if he did loose perspective, I guess it would have been really very hard for him to remain more scientific.



While as a post-war New York Jew, I have never met Nehemiah Scudder in person, he's been a long-running nightmare.

As to Kracauer's emotional biases that led him to his conclusions, they are understandable, but his failure to spot them is not admirable, and that of his followers is simple failure.

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

-- Dorothy Sayers

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