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

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.).
Continue reading

Katharina, die Letzte [Catherine the Last] (1936)

Katharina, die Letzte
Director: Henry Koster
Writer: Felix Jackson, Károly Nóti
Based on: Sándor Hunyady‘s novel
Cast: Franciska Gaal, Hans Holt, Hans Olden, Otto Wallburg, Dorothy Poole, Eduard Linkers, Ernö Verebes, Adrienne Gessner, Fritz Imhoff
Seen on: 23.2.2021

Hans (Hans Holt) is in love with Sybill (Dorothy Poole) and would like to marry her. But Sybill’s father Sixtus Braun (Otto Wallburg) believes Hans to be an unsteady lothario and he wants nothing to do with him, much less see him marry his daughter. After Braun kicks out Hans and forbids his staff from ever letting him into the house again, Hans concocts a different plan. He realizes that the most menial of maids, Katharina (Franciska Gaal) was not present at the staff instruction, so he poses as a chauffeur and asks her out on a date, hoping to gain access to the house through her. What he doesn’t factor into his plans is that Katharina actually takes his advances seriously.

Katharina, die Letzte is such an infuriating film with such a wonderful Franciska Gaal that it left me a bit of a mess. The story sucks, but she is so perfect that I almost didn’t care.

The film poster showing Katharina (Franciska Gaal) wearing a headscarf.
Continue reading