“The film is a melodrama in the high Sirk style (Leander is a cabaret singer in 1840s London who takes the rap when her lover passes a bad check and gets deported to the penal compound that was then Australia), but with a great deal of music, performed by Leander in the wrenchingly emotional style that has made her as much of an icon to German gays as Garland is to the US community.”
NY Times review:
Zu Neuen Ufern (1937)
THE SCREEN; At the 86th Street Casino
By FRANK S. NUGENT
Published: January 29, 1938
The Central offered another twin bill yesterday, Columbia’s “Outlaws of the Prairie” and Universal’s “Behind the Mike.” In the former Charles Starrett and his singing Texas Rangers break up the robber band led by an ostensibly respectable mine boss. In the latter William Gargan takes over a rickety small-town radio station and uses it to expose the sinister link between the Mayor and the owner of the rival broadcasting studio. Two pictures, two hours, too bad.
At the 86th Street Casino
Suse Graf, one of the younger generation of German film actors whose “it” qualities were noted by Yorkville audiences when her charming shadow was shown there a couple of times in 1936 and 1937, is the principal excuse for “Wenn Du eine Schwiegermutter hast” (When You Have a Mother-in-Law), now at the Eighty-sixth Street Casino Theatre. As the young wife of middle-aged Ralph Arthur Roberts and the daughter of the elderly but always vivacious Ida Wuest, Miss Graf has no trouble in making the spectators believe that she is eagerly sought after by men of all ages at the beach resort where most of the action of this routine comedy of matrimonial errors takes place.
This Amalfi-Tonfilm production was directed by Joe Stoeckel, the popular comedian. He keeps a highly capable cast moving pretty fast through lots of funny complications, but even at that the picture seems rather long. Much of the entertainment springs from the plight of Herr Roberts when he is forced to pose as his wife’s father in order to further his mother-in-law’s clever schemes. Other prominent players are Mady Rahl, Ernst Dumcke, Erwin Biegel and Kurt Vespermann.
At the 86th St. Garden Theatre
According to European newspapers, Zarah Leander, the stately Swedish actress who takes the leading part in “Zu neuen Ufern” (To New Shores), the new picture, with English titles, at the Eighty-sixth Street Garden Theatre, is very popular on the stage in her native land and also in Vienna. It was her triumph in the Austrian capital last Winter that caused the Ufa to hire her in the hope of finding a “second Garbo.”
I would be unfair to judge Miss Leander from a single film, and that only her second. Nevertheless despite her undoubted charm, in a rather subdued and tragic manner, and her sweet, extremely low voice, she will have to go a long way before reaching the movie status of her well-known countrywoman. It is to be hoped that Miss Leander will get a chance to show her abilities in something lighter than this well-known screen account of an imaginary, but quite possible, happening in the settlement of Australia a century ago.
Willi Birgel is excellent as the dashing but irresolute officer for whose sake Zarah accepts responsibility for forging a check and is transported for seven years. Viktor Staal is the likely young farmer whose love is destined to make the innocent convict forget her mistake. There are many highly interesting scenes and Detlief Sierck’s direction is smooth.
Subtitles:English, French, German (muxed), English, French (srt)