Die Deutschmeister [A March for the Emperor] (1955)

Die Deutschmeister
Director: Ernst Marischka
Writer: Ernst Marischka
Remake of: Frühjahrsparade (to which Marischka also wrote the script)
Cast: Romy Schneider, Magda Schneider, Siegfried Breuer Jr., Josef Meinrad, Gretl Schörg, Susi Nicoletti, Adrienne Gessner, Hans Moser, Paul Hörbiger, Gunther Philipp, Wolfgang Lukschy, Fritz Imhoff
Seen on: 14.3.2021

Plot:
After having her fortune told by a parrot, Stanzi (Romy Schneider) knows that she has to come to Vienna to visit her aunt Therese (Magda Schneider) who runs a bakery there. Right when she arrives, Stanzi gets caught up in a ball where she utterly confuses Baron Zorndorf (Gunther Philipp) who thinks her a countess. But the Baron is quickly forgotten when Stanzi meets the young drummer Willy (Siegfried Breuer Jr.) whose head is filled with music. When Stanzi sees an opportunity to help Willy by contacting the Kaiser (Paul Hörbiger) on his behalf, she takes it, even if that spells embarrassment for her aunt and the court counselor Hofwirth (Josef Meinrad) who is trying to court Therese.

Die Deutschmeister is a film that basically consists entirely of kitsch and is seasoned with a couple of charming characters. If you’re looking for Monarchy nostalgia and an intense dose of sugar, this is the film to turn to.

The film poster showing Stanzi (Romy Schneider) in the Prater with her date Willy (Siegfried Breuer Jr.).

Die Deutschmeister has a pretty relentless pace – there really is not much time for anything here. Stanzi doesn’t even get her foot in the door of her aunts place before having her first Viennese adventure, and the film seems to take place within a week or so – despite the fact there is really a lot happening here.

That makes the film rather breezy and fun to watch, I will admit it. And it means that we don’t have enough time to really think about what is going on – maybe that’s a blessing. The film only slows down a little with its musical numbers that were not entirely my thing, but fit the film very well.

Stanzi (Romy Schneider) arranging some flowers while talking to her aunt Therese (Magda Schneider).

The film is peopled with nice supporting characters (and Josef Meinrad is looking good indeed). Hans Moser’s bumbling hairdresser, Paul Hörbiger’s kind Kaiser (the embodiment of what people wish regents were like) and my personal favorite Susi Nicolette’s Comtesse Nanette who was in the film way too little, but had me in stitches anytime she showed up.

You do need to be in a special frame of mind – one that wants to be smothered in sweetness. If you’re there, then the fim will definitely work for you. If you’re not there, it will probably creep you out a little.

Stanzi (Romy Schneider) at an audience with Kaiser Franz Joseph (Paul Hörbiger).

Summarizing: be prepared for what it is and you’ll have fun.

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