1921-1930ComedyGermanyGéza von BolváryMusicalWeimar Republic cinema

Géza von Bolváry – Der Herr auf Bestellung (1930)

“Der Herr auf Bestellung – the gentleman who can be booked” has the Weimar dream team of Walter Reisch as scriptwriter, Geza von Bolvary as director and most importantly, the incomparable Willi Forst as main actor.

This ‘musical burlesque’ tells about a stylish young gentleman (Willi Forst) who works as a so-called ‘Festredner’; an untranslatable term, it indicates a person who makes speeches at important events like marriages etc. for people who don’t feel able to do it themselves. Willi lends his voice to a speech-impaired professor (Paul Hörbiger), but the baroness (Trude Lieske) who falls in love with Hörbiger only does so because of Willi’s voice, and you can guess that this leads to all sorts of complications…

Very ironic but generally good-natured, “Der Herr auf Bestellung” offers a fine reflection on “Schein und Sein”, appearance and reality. Forst impersonating the voice of Hörbiger in all sorts of situations (including an appearance in Japanese samurai armour) is a sight to see, there are occasional bits of slapstick, and in one scene Forst even dances with his car. Additionally, the opening sequence in which Forst does an almost Astaire-style dance and song number must be one of the best he ever commited to celluloid, and the film in general abounds in great Willi songs (written by Robert Stolz) like “Dein Hemdchen ist aus Crepe de Chine” and “Hab’ keine Angst vor dem ersten Kuss”, which are interesting to see in the context of this ultimately rather ‘cold’ film.

1.16GB | 1 h 20 min | 768×576 | mkv



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