“Das hässliche Mädchen” (The ugly girl) of the title is young Lotte (Dolly Haas), who is hired as a secretary by an insurance company precisely for her supposed ugliness, as the director (Otto Wallburg) hopes to avoid amorous affairs in his company this way. But as these things go, not only does one of his employees, Fritz (Max Hansen), fall for her, but unsurprisngly the ugly duckling soon transforms into a lovely lady. Fritz realises a little too late that he’s in love with Lotte, however, and meanwhile establishes an affair with the company director’s girlfriend. And obviously, this leads to all sorts of problems and funny situations…
This is the second film that Henry Koster directed, then still using the name of Hermann Kosterlitz, but due to the political circumstances his name was purged from the credits and replaced by “Buch und Regie: Hasse Preiss”. The trivia remark on the film at imdb explains this sad affair thus: “This was the last film that Henry Koster directed in Berlin before having to leave due to Nazis. He left Berlin, having knocked out an SS officer, one day before filming was finished on the movie. The nazis removed his name from the credits and substituted the name of “Hasse Preiss”, the lyricist.” For more background information, please also look at the rather extensive wikipedia entry on this film: link
Anyway, this is a rather charming and stylish comedy which not only features Dolly Haas as the female lead, but also the great satirical cabaret singer Max Hansen, who gets to do some nice singing here (not enough to qualify the film for the ‘musical’ tag, though). Hansen was a major star of the German musical scene in the late Weimar era, and also played in a few films, but like so many others he had to flee from Germany in 1933, and not only for having famously insinuated (in his song “War´n Sie schon mal in mich verliebt?”) that Hitler was gay. His departure was finally caused by nazi attacks during the premiere of this film, incidentally.
From our HSH collection. This is a different source disc than the format-converted one that I had to use for my old avi upload a long time ago. It’s in the original PAL format this time and the image quality is much improved. Sound is fine, too. The English subtitles were written by Serdar and have recently been entirely overhauled by FatPlank. Many thanks to both of them!