Third Reich Cinema

Erich Engels – Sherlock Holmes – Die graue Dame (1937)

A bizarre cash-in, Die Graue Dame is a quasi-Holmes picture based on a theatrical play entirely unrelated to the works of Doyle and released shortly after the Bruno Güttner-starring Der Hund von Baskerville (1937). Here, young Jimmy Ward – played by Hermann Speelmans (1906-1960), who’d featured in the vile Nazi propaganda feature Hitlerjunge Quex: ein Film vom Opfergeist der Deutschen Jugend (1933), an immorality tale designed to drum up recruitment into the Hitler Youth – infiltrates a criminal gang, only to reveal at the last moment that he is, in fact, none other than an undercover Sherlock Holmes. One can only presume that the ‘John’ – who, according to the credits list, acts as Holmes’ ‘servant’ – was intended to be none other than the hapless Dr Watson. ~Alan Barnes, Sherlock Holmes on Screen Read More »

Luis Trenker – Der Berg ruft! AKA The Mountain Calls (1938)

Synopsis:
The Italian mountaineer Carel wants to be the first man to stand on the top of the Matterhorn. Since the climb is very difficult, he agrees to try it together with the British mountaineer Whymper. But due to an intrigue this agreement is dropped and the two men try it on the same day with two different teams and then disaster strikes. Read More »

Frank Wisbar – Anna und Elisabeth (1933)

IMDB says:
Anna a young girl is thought of having the ability to heal people mysteriously. Elisabeth a middle aged aristocratic woman, is disabled and puts all her hopes in meeting Anna and having her disability heal by her. Read More »

Frank Wisbar – Die Unbekannte AKA The Unknown (1936)

Here’s a film that’s very rare and had no commercial exposure after the war due to the sad fact that the last 8 minutes have only survived without any sound. The copy isn’t perfectly sharp and has a timecode.
Nevertheless it might be quite interesting to see another pairing of Sybille Schmitz and director Frank Wysbar from Fährmann Maria fame. Here Schmitz play a mysterious woman who is down and out as a singer in cheap bars before she meets a scientist and hopes again for a future, being slowly reborn again again. However we all know that it is for naught because the film starts with her body in the morgue. Read More »

Veit Harlan – Verwehte Spuren AKA Covered Tracks (1938)

Séraphine and her mother arrive in Paris to visit the 1867 World Exhibition. In an overcrowded city they must be accommodated in separate hotels. During the night the mother, who wasn’t feeling very well, gets suddenly worse. When next morning Séraphine goes to meet her every trace of her presence has disappeared and everybody denies having ever met her. The bewildered young woman must find someone who believes her. Read More »

Douglas Sirk – Das Hofkonzert AKA The Court Concert (1936)

From All Move Guide:
Before he became cult director Douglas Sirk, Detlef Sierck cut his teeth on such lavish European star vehicles as Hofkonzert (Court Concert). Marta Eggerth is cast as Christine, a young singer who aspires to find out who her father was. Her odyssey brings her to the court of a mythical kingdom, where she is romanced by handsome lieutenant Walter (Johannes Heesters). He is warned not to lose his heart to a “commoner,” but all turns out all right when King Serenissimus (Otto Tressler) turns out to be Christine’s long-lost daddy. Hofkonzert was designed as a comeback for Marta Eggerth, whose star had eclipsed by the mid-1930s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Helmut Käutner – Wir machen Musik (1942)

Quote:
Karl Zimmermann plays piano at the Café Rigoletto because he needs the money, but actually his whole passion is classical music, and work on his own opera is in progress. Then he meets the pop singer and song writer Anni Pichler, whom he wants to convert to “serious” music, but even the private lessons at his bachelor pad cannot convince her. Despite everything, the two find each other appealing, and they marry after a short time.
Professionally now everyone goes his/her own way, but at home things don’t go well. Money’s always scarce, and Anni complains he could earn more if he’d write music people like. And when Karl’s opera bombs, he hits rock bottom and they break up. Read More »