Mai 2016

 

 

 

NEWSLETTER

 

 


Historical Rarities Collectors of the World – Unite!

                                                               Sammler historischer Raritäten aller Länder - vereinigt Euch!

 May 2016                                                         


 

  

CURRENT PROMOTIONSGEGENWÄRTIGE ANGEBOTE

 

 

 AM SEIDENEN FADEN  (1938)

 SPECIAL PRICE $ 7.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Nach dem Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs kehrt Richard Hellwerth aus japanischer Gefangenschaft in seine Heimat nach Elberfeld zurück. Was ihn erwartet ist erschütternd. Seine Eltern sind tot, das Haus in dem er aufwuchs, halb vermietet an den Spekulanten Eickhoff, die Firma steht kurz vor dem Ruin. Da erzählt ihm Werkmeister Schwafels von dem Erfinder Breuer, der immer noch in einem Raum der Fabrik besessen experimentiert. Als Hellwerth vor ihm steht, bricht dieser halb verhungert zusammen. Der junge Chef pflegt ihn gesund, und die beiden schließen einen Pakt. Als erstes verkauft Hellwerth sein Haus an Eickhoff, denn mit diesem Kapital können sie neu beginnen. Dank Breuers Vorarbeit entsteht ein neuer Werkstoff: die Kunstseide.

 

After the end of the First World War, Richard Hellwarth returns to Elberfeld in his homeland back from imprisonment at the hands of the Japanese.  What he sees upon his return shakes him to the core:  his parents are dead; the house in which he grew up has been 50% rented out to a speculator named Eickhoff; and the family business is one foot in the grave.  He is told about the discoverer Breuer, who is still occupying a room in the factory and continues to experiment.  When Hellwerth re-introduces himself to the scientist, Breuer collapses from hunger.  The young boss cares for him and brings him back to health ... and they make a pact:  First, Hellwerth will sell his house to Eickhoff; then, the capital from the sale will be used to make a new beginning.  And thanks to Breuer's diligence, a new product is developed:  artificial silk. 

 

DAS BAD AUF DER TENNE  (1943)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 8.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $11.99)

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In dem Sittenschwank "Das Bad auf der Tenne", das im flandrischen Dorf- und Kaufmannsmilieu im 18. Jahrhundert spielt, sorgt Paul Henckels als Handelsmann Ule Sleeks für die Späße, hier kaspert er gerade mit der Bürgermeistersfrau (Heli Finkenzeller). Goebbels kanzelte den ersten Farbfilm aus dem Hause der Tobis-Studios als "ordinären Bauernfilm" ab. Zwar sei der Kostümfilm farblich gelungen, aber Regisseur Volker von Collande habe "völlig versagt", schrieb der Propagandaminister in sein Tagebuch. Von Collandes Werk, das am 30. Juli 1943 in Berlin Premiere feierte, erhielt dennoch das Prädikat "Volkstümlich wertvoll" - und Jugendverbot. Die katholische Kirche störte sich an zwei Badeszenen, in denen zwei Mädchen nackt von hinten zu sehen waren.

In this morals farce, "The bathroom on the Threshing Floor", which takes place during the 18th Century in a Flemish village and merchant milieu, Paul Henckels plays the trader Ule Sleeks and carries on with the mayor's wife (Heli Finkenzeller). Goebbels labelled this first color film from Tobis Studios an "ordinary peasant film". And while the costume drama was a colorful success, the director Volker von Collande "completely screwed up", according to the Propaganda Minister in his diaries. Von Collande's work, which premiered in Berlin on 30 July 1943, nevertheless received the designation of being "culturally valuable" ... and was promptly restricted to adult audiences. The Catholic Church had a fit about two of the bath scenes, where two girls could be seen naked from behind (but, ironically, had little to say about the "bath scenes" taking place at the same time in extermination camps to the East). 

 

DA STIMMT WAS NICHT  (1934)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 5.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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A councilor is tricked by an impostor, whom he believes to be a baron.  He gives him money and his marriageable daughter -- but then the real baron shows up and plays the chauffeur.

 

Ein Kommerzienrat fällt auf einen Schwindler herein, den er für einen Baron hält. Er gibt ihm seine Barschaft und seine heiratsfähige Tochter - doch da taucht der echte Baron auf und mimt den Chauffeur.   

 

DER HERR SENATOR, DIE FLIEGENDE AHNFRAU  (1934) 

SPECIAL PRICE $ 8.79 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $10.99)

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Ein in Vornehmheit erstarrter Hamburger Senator versucht, seine Zigarettenfabrik durch die Vermählung seiner Tochter mit dem Sohn seines Konkurrenten zu konsolidieren. Seine exzentrische, alte Schwester aus Süddeutschland schickt ihm jedoch einen forschen Rechtsanwalt als Kontrolleur ins Haus.

 

A senator from Hamburg, frozen in old-fashioned gentility, attempts to consolidate his cigarette factory by marrying off his daughter to the son of his competition. His eccentric, nosy old sister, with no life of her own back in southern Germany, sends him a lawyer to keep an eye on the going-ons in the house.

DER GEFANGENE DES KONIGS  (1935) 

SPECIAL PRICE $ 5.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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This comedy is loosely based on the life-story of Johann Friedrich Bottgers, the inventor of Meissen porcelain.  In Berlin, the pharmacist Fritz Bottgers earns the reputation of being able to make gold and, by order of the King of Prussia, is thrown into jail.  He flees to Saxony on the trail of some young woman, but is again arrested and forced to make gold.  He's not successful in doing so, but by chance figures out how to make porcelain.  August the Strong makes him a baron and the director of the royal porcelain manufactory.

 

Lustspiel, frei nach der Lebensgeschichte Johann Friedrich Böttgers, des Erfinders des Meißner Porzellans: In Berlin gerät der Apothekenprovisor Fritz Böttger in den Ruf, Gold herstellen zu können und wird auf Befehl des preußischen Königs gefangengesetzt. Auf den Spuren einer jungen Dame flieht er nach Sachsen, wird in Dresden jedoch ebenfalls in Haft gesetzt und soll gezwungen werden, Gold herstellen. Zwar gelingt ihm dies nicht, doch durch einen Zufall findet er stattdessen heraus, wie man Porzellan herstellen kann. August der Starke ernennt ihn zum Baron und Direktor der königlichen Porzellan-Manufaktur.

 

DER STAMMBAUM DES DR. PISTORIUS  (1939) 

SPECIAL PRICE $ 5.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Dr. Pistorius, a "superior mensch", is incredibly vain and has a bad case of small-town conceit  (big fish in little aquarium).  Currently, he's doing research on his ancestors and he is quite sure, that he's descended from nobility.  Imagine his great embarrassment to discover that his predecessors were mere peasants!  But eventually, he comes to the surprising conclusion, that the worth of a person is based on his personality and not his feudal family tree  (a conclusion he no doubt would never had discovered had any of his ancestors had a "von" before their name). 

 

Herr Dr. Pistorius, ein "besserer Herr", ist äußerst eitel und von einem kleinstädtischen Klassendünkel befallen. Zurzeit stellt er Forschungen nach seinen Vorfahren an. Er ist sich ganz sicher, von einem Adelsgeschlecht abzustammen. Um so peinlicher wird es für ihn, als er feststellen muss, dass seine Ahnen aus ganz kleinen Verhältnissen sind. Aber allmählich kommt er nach überraschenden Erlebnissen zu der Erkenntnis, dass der Wert eines Menschen von dessen Persönlichkeit abhängt und nicht von einem noch so feudalen Stammbaum.

 

DIE HALBZARTE  (1958) 

SPECIAL PRICE $ 7.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 10.49)

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Irgendwie versuchen sich alle Familienmitglieder der Wiener Familie Dassau ein wenig im Künstlerischen: Der Vater, ein Postbeamter, schreibt in seiner Freizeit Kriminalromane, die Mutter komponiert Liebeslieder, Tochter Brigitte malt, und Sohn Thomas jongliert. Die 20-jährige Tochter Nicole schließlich schreibt hübsche, aber erfolglose Gedichte. Um der Familie endlich ein wenig Luxus zu ermöglichen, entschließt sich Nicole eines Tages, ein höchst "unmoralisches" Theaterstück zu verfassen. Autobiographisch soll es wirken, wobei Nicole ein Pseudonym verwendet. Einmal erschienen, wird das Stück ein großer Erfolg am Wiener Hoftheater. Als dann auch noch ein amerikanischer Produzent das Stück am Broadway aufführen will, scheint das Glück perfekt. Allerdings muss Nicole diesem Mr. Dott nun das lasziv-unmoralische Töchterchen vorspielen, was ihr zunächst auch gelingt. Daraufhin versucht Dott, sie zu verführen.

 

All the members of the Viennese family Dassau are trying some way to be artistic:  The father, a postal official, writes detective novels in his spare time; the mother composes love songs; daughter Brigitte paints; and son Thomas juggles.  20 year old daughter Nicole writes pretty, but commercially unsuccessful, poems.  To finally bring a little bit of luxury to the family, Nicole decides one day to write a highly “immoral” theatre piece.  It’s supposed to be autobiographical, though Nicole will, of course, use a pseudonym.  Once produced, it’s a big hit at the Wiener Hoftheater.  When an American producer wants to bring the piece to Broadway, everything seems to be falling into place.  However, Nicole has to live up to the part of the lascivious, immoral daughter with this Mr. Dott and at first, she’s quite successful at doing so.  But then Dott tries to seduce her.

 

EHE MAN EHEMANN WIRD  (1941) 

SPECIAL PRICE $ 7.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Professor Hellwig ist ein eingefleischter Junggeselle. Er ist Musikhistoriker und lebt nur seiner Wissenschaft. Er duldet weibliche Hörerinnen nur ungern in seinen Vorlesungen und versucht sie durch Unliebenswürdigkeit zu vertreiben. Selbst in seinem Landhaus lässt er sich nur von seinem Diener Sebastian betreuen. Dass Sebastian heimlich verheiratet ist, wird ihm aufs sorgfältigste verschwiegen. Elli Martens, eine Studentin, die den Professor in einer Vorlesung kennen gelernt hat, möchte ihn von seiner Marotte heilen, da sie es bedauerlich findet, dass solch ein prachtvoller Mann als Einspänner durchs Leben gehen will. Sie fasst den Entschluss, ihn mit List zu bekehren. Als verheiratete Frau, die angeblich auf der Hochzeitsreise durch eine Autopanne ihren Mann verloren hat, taucht sie hilfesuchend bei Nacht und Unwetter im Landhaus Hellwig auf. Hellwig ist entsetzt und versucht sie möglichst schnell wieder loszuwerden.

 

Professor Hellwig is a confirmed bachelor. He is a music historian and lives only for his passion. He has no patience for the ladies and does everything he can do drive them out of his classes by being super unfriendly. Even at home, he will only let himself be served by a man -- Sebastian. Sebastian, of course, doesn't let the professor know that he's actually married. Elli Martens, a student, who has gotten to know the professor through one of his classes, wants to cure the professor of his aversion to women, because she can't stand to see someone happy (what other reason can there be?). She decides to use her womanly guile to ensnare him. Posing as a married woman, who lost her husband in an auto accident during their honeymoon, she shows up at Hellwig's house on a stormy evening, begging for help. Hellwig is repulsed and tries to get rid of her as quickly as possible (AMEN!).

 

FORTSETZUNG FOLGT  (1938)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 5.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Der Schriftsteller Viktor Borg ist mit seinen Manuskripten stets im Verzug, sehr zum Verdruss seines Verlegers, Redakteurs und Freundes Otto. Kurzerhand kündigt Otto Viktors neuen Kriminalroman an, der in Fortsetzungen in der "Illustrierten Woche" erscheinen soll. Als Viktor mit Otto die Vorstellung eines Zauberkünstlers besucht, der eine Dame in einem Glaskasten verschwinden lässt, kommt Viktor auf die Idee für das erste Kapitel: In seinem Roman bleibt die Dame verschwunden und wird Opfer eines Verbrechens. Doch in der Vorstellung am nächsten Abend verschwindet die junge Frau, Dolly Marlow, tatsächlich, und in der Folge geschieht alles genauso, wie Viktor es in den weiteren Fortsetzungen beschrieben hat.

 

The writer Viktor Borg is always in arrears with his manuscripts, much to the annoyance of his publisher, editor and friend Otto. Without further ado, Otto announces the arrival of Viktor’s new murder mystery, which is to appear in the “Illustrierten Woche” in installments.  When Viktor attends a magician’s performance with Otto, in which a woman in a glass box disappears, Viktor comes up with the idea for the first chapter of his mystery:  In his novel, the woman stays disappeared and is the victim of a crime.  During the magician’s performance the next evening, the young woman, Dolly Marlow,  really does disappear and things progress exactly as Viktor described in his installments.

 

GRUSS UND KUSS VOM TEGERNSEE  (1957)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 6.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Pat, verwöhnte Tochter eines amerikanischen Hotelkettenbesitzers, soll auf Wunsch ihres Vaters eine Hotelfachschule am Tegernsee besuchen. Doch das Mädchen fährt viel lieber nach Paris, um sich dort heimlich mit ihrem Verlobten zu treffen. Deshalb engagiert sie die mittellose Studentin Lissy, die ihren “Platz” einnehmen soll. In der Hotelfachschule angekommen, sorgt Lissy mit ihrem Temperament für großen Wirbel. Auch Max, der junge charmante Neffe des Schulleiters, erliegt ihrem Charme und verliebt sich prompt in sie. Lissy erwidert seine Gefühle, doch das junge Glück droht zu zerbrechen, als Pats Verlobter Billy auftaucht, der noch nicht ahnt, dass sich Pat in Paris aufhält.

 

Pat, the spoiled daughter of an American hotel chain owner, is supposed to attend a hotel school on the Tegernsee by request of her father.  But the girl would rather travel to Paris to secretly meet her fiancée.  So she “hires” a fellow student, Lissy, who is in need of money to take her place.  Having arrived at the hotel school, Lissy’s personality soon has everything going topsy-turvy.  Even Max, the young and charming nephew of the headmaster, falls for her and is soon madly in love with her.  Lissy gladly reciprocates with affection, but it soon seems, that their young happiness is in danger, when Pat’s fiancée Billy arrives and has no idea, that Pat went to Paris looking for him.

 

JOHANN  (1943)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 7.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Verfilmung des gleichnamigen Bühnenstücks von Theo Lingen. Die Geschichte erzählt von einem pflichtbewussten Kammerdiener, der sowohl von seinen adeligen Arbeitgebern, als auch von seiner Ehefrau überaus schlecht behandelt wird. Schließlich versucht er sich, mehr oder weniger freiwillig, in einer ganzen Reihe anderer Professionen – allerdings ohne großen Erfolg. Am Ende findet er doch wieder zu seiner "Berufung" als Kammerdiener zurück und findet sowohl im Beruf als auch privat sein Glück. Theo Lingen ist in dem Film in einer Doppelrolle zu sehen: neben dem Diener Johann verkörpert er auch dessen Arbeitgeber.

 

This is the film version of the same-named theatre piece by Theo Lingen.  The story concerns a chamberservant with a strong sense of duty as well as his employer of noble birth, who's not so noble when it comes to the treatment of his wife.  The chamberservant tries, more or less voluntarily, to switch professions again and again ... always without success.  In the end, he ends up back at his calling as a chamberservant and is able to find some happiness in his profession as well as in his private life.  Theo Lingen plays a double role in this film as both the servant and his employer.

 

LA SILENCE DE MER  (1949)  * with switchable English subtitles *

SPECIAL PRICE $10.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 13.99)

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In an idyllic provincial town of occupied France, two German soldiers come upon the secluded home of an old man and his niece, in search of a boarding house. One evening, a German officer named Werner von Ebrennac introduces himself as the new household tenant.  Despite their deliberate silence towards the German stranger, von Ebrennac is respectful and considerate, stopping by the living room to greet the residents before retiring to his room for the evening: admiring their home, sharing the warmth of a fire.  Soon, he changes his evening ritual by changing into civilian clothes before visiting them, politely knocking before imposing himself into the company of the old man, smoking his pipe, and his niece, engrossed in knitting.  As in Ingmar Bergman's Persona, he fills the silence by speaking casually about his life: his past love, beliefs, literature, music.  He reveals that he is a great admirer of French culture, believing that the German occupation is an equitable union of two nations that will contribute to the greatness of Europe, and that France will heal the pervasive cruelty of his country.  However, during a highly anticipated trip to Paris, von Ebrennac learns the underlying plans of his compatriots, and is forced to reconcile with his allegiance and culpability.

 

MORDSACHE HOLM  (1938)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 6.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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In Bremen, that vaudeville dancer Graziella Holm receives a surprise visit from Dr. Korner from Berlin, a friend of her sister Jenny.  He’s trying to convince her to end her career as a dancer.  As she must desperately go to Hamburg for some reason, she takes him along in her car.  When they start quarreling while driving, she stops right in the middle of the highway and Korner leaves the car.  A short while later, Holm’s car is found crashed on the highway by the police.  Graziella is sitting dead in the car.  It is later determined that she was strangled.  They find a red thread under her fingernails, but this does not match the color of her dress.

 

In Bremen erhält die Varietétänzerin Graziella Holm einen überraschenden Besuch von Dr. Körner aus Berlin, einem Freund ihrer Schwester Jenny. Er will sie davon überzeugen, ihre Karriere als Tänzerin zu beenden. Da sie dringend nach Hamburg muss, nimmt sie ihn in ihrem Auto mit. Als es während der Fahrt zu einem Streit kommt, hält sie mitten auf der Autobahn an und Körner verlässt den Wagen.  Kurze Zeit später wird der verunglückte Wagen Holms von der Polizei an der Autobahn gefunden. Im Auto sitzt die tote Graziella. Sie ist, wie die Ermittler später feststellen, erwürgt worden. Unter einem Fingernagel der Ermorderten finden sie einen roten Faden, der nicht zur ihrer Kleidung passt.

 

ROME OPEN CITY  (1945)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 7.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $10.99)

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Made just months after the end of the Second World War in Europe,  Rome, Open City tells the story of the brutal German occupation of Italy in the closing days of the War.

 

The film opens with German soldiers searching for Giorgio Manfredi, who eludes them by jumping around roofs.  A priest, Don Pietro Pellegrini, helps the resistance transmit messages and money.   The Gestapo commander in the city, with the help of the Italian police commissioner, captures Giorgio and the priest, and interrogates Giorgio violently.  They attempt to use Pietro's religious beliefs to convince him to betray his cause, citing that he allies himself with atheists.  Pietro responds that anyone who strives to help others is on that path of God whether they believe in Him or not.  They then force Pietro to watch as Giorgio is tortured to death.  When Don Pietro still refuses to crack, he is executed.

 

SPASSVOGEL  (1938)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 6.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $ 9.99)

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Im ganzen Dorf ist Bürgermeister Eberhorn als Schürzenjäger bekannt. Kätchen, seine Frau, versucht immer wieder, ihn zu einem anständigen Lebenswandel zu bekehren - vergeblich. Als der Casanova eines Morgens in Anspielung auf seine Affären einen Kinderwagen mit einem gewitzten Spruch an seiner Haustür findet, sinnt Eberborn auf Rache. Als Täter kommen nur die stadtbekannten „Spaßvögel“ in Frage, sieben Freunde unter der Führung des ehemaligen Matrosen Hannes Strobel.

 

Mayor Eberhorn is known as a womanizer to everyone in the village.  Katchen, his wife, is constantly trying to convert him to a proper way of life … but in vain.  When one morning, Casanova finds a stroller with a clever slogan referencing his affairs at his front door, Eberborn seeks revenge.  Top suspects for the prank?  The “Spassvogel”:  seven friends led by the former sailor Hannes Strobel.

 

THE WANDERING JEW  (1933)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 9.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $13.99)

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Mathathias passes by Christ on the road to Golgotha, where Christ is to be crucified.  When Mathathias expresses a lack of concern for Christ's suffering, he is told by Jesus that he will remain 'here' until he returns.  A soft, glowing light grows stronger and Matathias stares in horror.  It is because of these words, that Matathias is cursed with immortality:  he cannot die; he can't grow older; and he must periodically move to a new community and establish a new identity, so no one will notice that he never ages.  Though Veidt was known to have appeared in a number of films sympathetic to the Jews at a time when anti-Semitism was metamorphosing into something much more encompassing and deadlier than anything the Jews had heretofore seen in Europe, this film has a Christian viewpoint, which -- considering the subject matter -- by definition isn't particularly sympathetic to the fate of its Jewish protagonist.

 

WENT THE DAY WELL / TONIGHT, WE RAID CALAIS  (1942/43)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 9.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $13.99)

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One day during the Second World War, a unit of British soldiers arrive in the small, English village of Bramley End.  It's the Whitsun weekend, so life is even quieter than usual and there's almost no traffic of any kind.  At first, the villagers welcome the soldiers; but then doubts arise as to their purpose and actual identities.  It soon turns out these English soldiers are actually an advance guard of the Wehrmacht, sent to soften things up for an impending invasion.  The civilians attempt to escape and warn the local Home Guard, but are ambushed and shot by the Germans.  It's up to the residents of Bramley End to somehow escape and alert British forces about the invaders, but will they succeed in doing their part to protect the Empire?

 

KAMERADEN AUF SEE  (1938)

SPECIAL PRICE $ 8.99 till MAY 30, 2016 (reg. price $10.99)

1936 dient der Fähnrich Peter unter Kapitänleutnant Rank auf einem Torpedoboot. Peter liebt Carmita, die hübsche Schwester eines Kameraden. Aber dann verliebt sich auch sein Vorgesetzter Rank in Carmita und macht ihr einen Heiratsantrag, den sie annimmt. Peters Verhältnis zu Rank ist damit zunächst getrübt, bessert sich aber wieder, als Peter sich bei einem Bootsbrand heldenhaft bewährt. Später sind sie in spanischen Gewässern unterwegs, als dort Unruhen ausbrechen. Ein Küstenschiff, auf dem sich auch Carmita und ihr Vater befinden, wird von spanischen Kommunisten eingenommen. Rank hält sich an seinen Befehl, nicht einzugreifen, aber Peter und ein Kamerad starten auf eigene Faust eine Befreiungsaktion. Als der Kamerad dabei gefangengenommen wird, muss auch Rank eingreifen. – NS-Propagandafilm um Soldatenkameradschaft und Kampf gegen Kommunisten.

 

1936:  Fahnrich Peter serves on a torpedo boat.  Peter loves Carmita, the pretty sister of a fellow seaman.  But then his superior officer falls in love with her, too, who offers to marry Carmita and who accepts.  Disappointed, Peter's relationship to his superior turns sour, but eventually improves after recognition of his heroic behaviour handling a fire on board his ship.  Later on, his unit is sent off to fight in Spain against the Reds.  In those same waters, Carmita and her father are taken prisoner by the Communists when they commandeer their cruise ship.  Peter's commander receives the order not to take action against the Spanish communist pirates, but Peter and his buddies take it upon themselves to take the situation in hand.  However, Peter and his buddies find themselves prisoners of the Commies, too and now his superior must decide what to do about it.  In spite of the subject matter, overall a lighthearted comedy/drama in which the song of the same title became well known throughout the world.

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EGRI CSILLAGOK (1968) * with switchable English and Spanish subtitles *

 

The film is based on Geza Gardonyi's historical novel, which was compulsory reading in all Hungarian schools.  It is the 1500s in Hungary and troops of the Ottoman Empire are raiding the country, robbing, looting and dragging Hungarians into captivity and slavery.  Two of the captives, children, are brought to the slave market to be sold, but escape and carry with them a supernatural talisman, which changes the fortunes of the invading Hungarians.  Like many similar films of the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, this anti-Turkish, anti-Ottoman film had lavished amounts of money dedicated to it, which resulted in a lavish costumer spectacle.

Gárdonyi Géza nagyszabású történelmi regénye kötelező irodalom az általános iskolákban. Ebből a remek regényből készült Várkonyi Zoltán monumentális filmalkotása a kor legnagyobb magyar színészeinek a főszereplésével. 1500-as évek, Magyarország. Portyázó török csapatok dúlják fel az országot, rabolnak, fosztogatnak, rabságba hurcolják a magyarokat. Bornemissza Gergely és Cecey Éva gyerekként kerül Jumurdzsák kezébe, aki egy keleti rabszolgapiacon akarja eladni értékes foglyait. A gyerekek megszöknek, ráadásul magukkal viszik a babonás Jumurdzsák talizmánját. A török harcost ezután elhagyja a szerencséje, míg a bátor kisfiú, Bornemissza Gergely megtalálja azt. A film története hűen követi a regényt.

 

DAS HAUS IN MONTEVIDEO (1963)

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Morality and order are the lifeblood of Professor Traugott Hermann Nagler, who lives rather modestly in a small city with his wife Marianne and his twelve, well-brought-up children. The virtuous professors principles are put to the test when he learns that his recently deceased sister Josefine --- who was banished from his family for a moral offense --- bequeathed a house in Uruguay to his oldest daughter. But there's more: there's also a nice sum of money to inherit, provided the Family Nagler can demonstrate the same moral misstep that once led to Josefine's banishment from hearth and home.

 

Moral und Ordnung sind das Lebenselixier von Professor Traugott Hermann Nägler, der mit seiner Frau Marianne und den zwölf wohlgeratenen Kindern ein beschauliches Kleinstadtdasein führt. Die Prinzipien des tugendhaften Professors geraten ins Wanken, als er erfährt, dass seine kürzlich verstorbene Schwester Josefine, die einst wegen eines moralischen Vergehens von der Familie verbannt wurde, seiner ältesten Tochter ein Haus in Montevideo vermacht hat. Doch damit nicht genug: Neben dem Haus gibt es auch noch eine stattliche Geldsumme zu erben, vorausgesetzt, Familie Nägler kann denselben moralischen Fehltritt nachweisen, für den Josefine einst verstoßen wurde.

 

 MELISSA (1966)

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At the urging of his wife Melissa, Guy Foster --- by profession an editor, but now out of work --- goes out looking for a job (though he'd much rather sit at home writing a book). Whether because of the economy or because his "enthusiasm" is showing, he's unable to find a new employer. Angry over yet another rejection, he declines to attend a friend's birthday celebration. Melissa ends up going by herself and a short time later, calls her husband at home: She's met a newspaper man at the party, who just might be useful to Guy. Her husband agrees to meet the guy ... and soon enough, he has more trouble than he can handle.

 

Auf Drängen seiner Frau Melissa sieht sich Guy Foster, seines Zeichens Redakteur, zur Zeit aber stellungslos, nach einer neuen Anstellung um – viel lieber würde er ein Buch schreiben. Doch seine Bemühungen um einen neuen Arbeitsplatz bleiben erfolglos. Über eine neue Absage verärgert, schlägt er die Einladung zu einer Geburtstagsfeier aus. Melissa geht allein zur Party: Kurze Zeit später ruft sie ihn an: Sie hat einen Zeitungsmann kennengelernt, der Guy vielleicht von Nutzen sein kann. Guy Foster macht sich auf den Weg. Und schon steckt er bis über beide Ohren im Schlamassel.

 

MUNKBROGREVEN (1935) * with switchable English subtitles *

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A burglar by the name of "Diamond-Lasse" has committed a number of crimes in Stockholm's Old Town, but the police are clueless to his identity. And Officer Goransson is more concerned with catching day-laborers buying moonshine. One day, a stranger by the name of Ake shows up. He takes residence at a hotel in the Old Town, where he soon falls for Elsa, a young woman who lives and works at the hotel. Ake makes friends with two of the local day-laborers known as "The Count" and "Pickles". The Count's really an aristocrat, but he's lost everything except his title. He's in love with the owner of the hotel, an elderly woman named Klara; but she has no intention of marrying him until he finds a job. Pickle's in love with Klara's friend Amalia, but Amalia has bigger plans than getting hitched up to a day-laborer. Not very good at writing, she asks he blind neighbor to help her compose a personal ad for the local paper. Soon, a con man (Mr. Berglund) finds her in Craigslist's W4M section and shows up to ask for her hand in marriage. As for Ake, he says he's unemployed, but he always seems to have money for herring and alcohol. Elsa and The Count think he's the burglar "Diamond-Lasse", but instead of reporting him to the police, they want to help him change his life.

 

Natt över Gamla Stan i Stockholm. I en gränd bryter tjuvar upp en juvelerarbutik. En konstapel patrullerar på avstånd och kommer närmare. Han ser vad som sker och slår larm, men tjuvarna lyckas fly med sitt byte. Vi träffar fiskhandlerskan Amalia Blomkvist och hennes butiksbiträde Gurkan. Hennes affär är förlagd till den flytande fiskhallen vid Munkbron. Gurkan drar iväg med fisk i en dragkärra och möter Greven, en lodare som säljer tidningar från en barnvagn. Löpsedel från en tidning: DIAMANT-LASSE åter i farten i Gamla Stan. Gurkan och Greven dricker någonting ur pilsnerflaskor. Två poliskonstaplar, Göransson och Engström, misstänker att de dricker smuggelsprit i flaskorna men kan inte bevisa det. På ungkarlshotellet. Fru Klara Edlund är innehaverskan. Hennes dotter Elsa arbetar på hotellet. I receptionen sitter Borstis. Åke Larsson anländer mystiskt från ingenstans och jagas av poliserna som tror de är en brottsling på spåren. Han flyr in i Elsas privata rum och efter en del förvecklingar hyr han ett rum på hotellet. I en tidningsartikel står att polisen tror att Diamant-Lasses efternamn är Larsson.

 

ÁLLAMI ÁRUHÁZ (1953) * with switchable English subtitles *

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The excellent worker Ferenc Kocsis has been appointed manager in a state-run store. In that same store work Ilonka, a talented fashion designer; Boriska; Daniel; Klimke, a rather conservative salesman; and Glauziusz, a conscientious and honest bookkeeper. Everyone seems to love arguing more than they do working; but love will soon take the place of selfishness. Meanwhile, the store's former manager spreads the rumor that American broadcasters on Radio Free Europe are reporting that the government is going to declare the 100 Forint note worthless and whoever doesn't spend them, will not be compensated when they're replaced. He is thus trying to create a run on the store to show his former superiors that the new manager they installed in his place is incapable of keeping up with market demand (thus calling into question the validity of a planned socialist economy ... a very dangerous, and thus, counterrevolutionary thing for any manager to display in Stalinist Hungary). Friends and relatives soon besiege the story, buying up everything they can to get rid of their 100 Forint notes and causing a mass hysteria. Fortunately, in the end, the store is able to hold out until new supplies and goods arrive.

 

Now, which is more amazing?: the film suggesting that Radio Free America is a more trustworthy source of honest news than their own Soviet-controlled media; that the Hungarian government would replace a banknote without notice and refuse to compensate its holders for their now worthless money; or that the people wouldn't trust a socialist economy to meet their needs and that it would be impossible for a store to meet consumer demand in a planned economy? Three pretty bold assertions which somehow seemed to get past the censors and didn't result in death sentences for all involved.

 

Kocsis Ferenc kiváló dolgozót kinevezik az új állami áruház igazgatójává. Ilonka a tehetséges divattervező, Boriska a kedves, Dániel, a túlbuzgó, Klimkó, a konzervatív eladó és Glauziusz bácsi, a lelkiismeretes, becsületes könyvelő segíti munkáját. Ilonkával eleinte inkább csak folyton vitatkoznak, holott mindkettőjük életét a munka tölti ki. A vetélkedésből hamarosan szerelem lesz. Közben Dancs, a régi igazgató elterjeszti a rémhírt, hogy az új szocialista kereskedelem nem képes kielégíteni a keresletet. Rokonaival és barátaival felvásárlási akcióba kezdenek, ami tömeghisztériához vezet. Az új áruház azonban állja a vásárlók ostromát, amíg megérkezik az árúutánpótlás.

 

VARUJ (1947) * with switchable English subtitles *

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A screen adaptation of the drama The Shepherd's Wife by Ivan Stodola, capturing the hard life of Slovak emigrants in the era of political and social oppression before WWI. Young shepherd Ondrej Muranica flees the tyranny of Hungarian landowners to America. But a mining accident destroys his dreams and hopes of a better and fairer life. Ondrej suffers from amnesia and back home, he's pronounced dead. When he returns to his homeland years later, he learns that his wife has married his best friend.

 

THE FIRE RAISERS (1934) * with hard-encoded Spanish subtitles *

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The Fire Raisers (which is British slang for "arsonists") was inspired by the true story of Leopold Harris, an insurance assessor convicted of arson. In the film, the part of Harris is recreated in the character Jim Bronson, an ambitious assessor intent on marrying the daughter of a successful underwriter at the prestigious Lloyds of London. Bronson uses less than laudable means to improve his financial situation and, against the wishes of the father, convinces the director's daughter to marry him. But, as is so often the case in life, Bronson can't leave well enough alone and ends up gambling away most of his ill-earned fortune. And not having learned anything from the whole affair, he concludes the best way to save face and regain his lost money is to get involved with arsonists. In an "et tu, Brutus" moment, Bronson's assistant, Bates, becomes suspicious of him and helps a company representative infiltrate the gang of arsonists Bronson's involved with. This turns out to be not so great an idea after all, when the crooks suspect something's not kosher. They beat Bates to pulp and leave him to die in a vault while they turn their attention to the spy he brought into their midst ... all of this unknown to Bronson. Eventually, Bronson discovers his clever, but not-so-street-smart assistant in the vault, has a change of heart, and tries to rescue the other Lloyd's employee before the arsonists get to him and turn him into the ingredients for blood pudding. If any of that didn't make sense to you in English, worry not: the film has hard-encoded Spanish subtitles for you to practice your foreign language skills and to help clarify anything not clear in the accents of 1930s British English.

 

MARIE LEGENDE HONGROISE (1932) * with switchable English subtitles *

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Fejos' Spring Shower is an atypically honest look at the miserable treatment of maidservants at a time when nationalism and political and social instability in Central and Eastern Europe generally discouraged in-depth and frank discussions of society's ills. It tells the story of Mari, a young peasant girl of austere beauty, who works for a prosperous family and who is seduced by a man engaged to one of the family's daughters. The servant becomes pregnant and is cast out of her employer's home without further ado. Needless to say, with the birth of the illegitimate child, the upholders of morality and the judges of societal behavior ---who've forgotten Christ's admonition not to judge lest they themselves be judged --- ignore the block of wood in their own eye and push to the limit their merciless need to remove the splinter from Mari's ... with tragically unforgivable consequences as a result. There is very little talking in the film, but the interpretation of the film's message by the viewer, based on his or her own outlook on life, is not difficult to divine. The original print at 150 minutes no doubt stressed the lack of commentary in the film. This shorter print removes much of the "extraneous" scenes, but is no less powerful in its presentation of the hypocrisy, mistreatment, and conformist demands made of and shown to those who "don't fit in".

 

DAS ZWEITE GLEIS (1962) * with switchable English and Spanish subtitles *

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It's 1962. There's a theft from some goods wagons at the railway station and the railroad dispatcher Brock recognizes one of the thieves, but refuses to identify him in a police line-up. The thief Runge convinces his partner --- the locksmith Frank --- to get to know Brock's daughter Vera, because he's convinced he knows the dispatcher ... and behind that forgotten acquaintanceship must be the reason Brock won't identify the thieves. And it doesn't take long for the answer to be found: During the Second World War, Brock's wife hid a Jewish escapee, who Runge shot after finding him in her cellar. Runge then turned Brock's wife over to the Gestapo. Out of shame, Brock took on a new identity and started a new life. But when Runge murders Frank, Brock finally breaks his silence.

 

Im Jahr 1962: Bei einem Diebstahl auf dem Güterbahnhof erkennt Fahrdienstleiter Brock einen der Diebe, identifiziert ihn bei der Gegenüberstellung aber nicht. Dieb Runge setzt Schlosser Frank, den er angestiftet hatte, auf Brocks Tochter Vera an. Die jungen Leute finden heraus, warum Brock gelogen hat. Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs hatte Brocks Frau einen Flüchtling versteckt, der von Runge erschossen wurde. Runge lieferte die Frau der Gestapo aus. Aus Scham legte sich Brock eine falsche Identität zu und schwieg. Als Runge auch noch Frank ermordet, bricht Brock sein Schweigen.

 

ALLE LIEBEN PETER (1959)

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The 20 year old musician Peter not only goes to school, but also works in a firm belonging to Herr Steiner. When Steiner hires Peter to play at a private party, Peter thinks this might be the big break he's been waiting for. Exactly one day before the party, Peter's widowed mother gets to know charming Bernd Werding. In an attempt to impress him, mommy lies about her age to the new boyfriend and gets herself into hot water, when Werding visits her house where a 20 year old child would be an impossibility for a mother now posing as being "21+". Nevertheless, Peter doesn't want to ruin mom's delusions of youth and so dresses up as her 14 year old son --- a fiasco that wouldn't fool even a blind pedophile, let alone the suitor --- and both are now set to win the prize for the "oldest-looking, youngest mother and son". If all this weren't enough, Peter's got the hots for his boss' daughter Kitty, who frowns on getting serious with horny teenagers. In the end, everything works out for the best and only the audience ends up the dupe for buying any of this.

 

Der 20-jährige Musiker Peter jobbt neben seinem Studium im Unternehmen von Generaldirektor Steiner. Als dieser ihn für einen Auftritt bei seiner Privatfeier engagiert, sieht Peter seine große Chance gekommen. Ausgerechnet einen Tag vor dem Fest lernt seine verwitwete Mutter Sylvia den charmanten Bernd Werding kennen. Um ihn zu beeindrucken, schwindelt sie bezüglich ihres Alters und kommt darauf in Schwierigkeiten, als Werding sie zu Hause besucht. Um seine Mutter nicht bloßzustellen, verkleidet sich Peter als 14-jähriger Junge, was bald zu Komplikationen führt, besonders, als Peter sich in Steiners reizende Tochter Kitty verliebt.

 

FAHRT INS GLÜCK (1945)

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Celia Lovengaart was formerly involved with the theatre and was able to live a carefree life. But now she's in financial difficulties. The court appointed trustee gives her some money for her trip to Tirol, where she's going to visit her daughter Susanne, who was raised by her grandparents. Susanne is supposed to marry Richard, whom she can't stand and her mother tolerates him even less. Celia wants to help her daughter, but that's easier said than done: Richard knows about her past and is blackmailing her to keep her nose out of his affairs. If she doesn't, he'll tell the consul Hoyermann, Susan's guardian, about all and there'll be a big stink.

 

Celia Lövengaart war früher beim Theater und konnte ein sorgloses Leben führen. Jetzt aber steckt sie in finanziellen Schwierigkeiten, doch der Gerichtsvollzieher lässt ihr das Geld für eine Reise nach Tirol. Dort will sie ihre Tochter Susanne besuchen, die bei den Großeltern aufwächst. Susanne soll Richard heiraten, den sie aber nicht leiden kann, und der auch ihrer Mutter nicht sympathisch ist. Die soll nun ihrer Tochter helfen. Das ist nicht so einfach, denn Richard erpresst Celia mit ihrer bewegten Vergangenheit und droht, es Konsul Hoyermann, Susannes Vormund, zu erzählen, wenn sie der Verbindung nicht zustimmt.

 

HOTEL ADLON (1955)

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Stories from the history of the legendary Hotel Adlon told in twelve partly melancholic, partly ironic episodes. Forty years of German history is represented by the views of the hotel workers and guests at the Adlon, beginning with the hotel's opening in 1907, an event which even impressed Kaiser Wilhelm II, and ending with the improvised day-to-day existence of the completely destroyed hotel in the ruins of Soviet occupied Berlin in the late Forties.

 

Geschichten aus der Geschichte des legendären Hotels Adlon erzählt der Film teils melancholisch, teils ironisch in zwölf Episoden. Der Zeitraum von vierzig Jahren Deutscher Geschichte, repräsentiert aus der Froschperspektive der Hotelangestellten und der »Menschen im Hotel«, beginnt mit der Eröffnung des Luxushotels 1907, bei der sich sogar Wilhelm II. beeindruckt zeigt, und endet mit dem improvisierten Leben in den Trümmern des zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs völlig zerstörten Adlon, das nun im sowjetisch besetzten Sektor Berlins liegt.

 

PANIQUE  (1946)  * with switchable English subtitles *

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Monsieur is a strange and lonely man. He's madly in love with the beautiful Alice, but has kept that a secret. When a crime is committed in his neighborhood, his neighbors and the police are quick to suspect him; but the real murderer is none other than Alice's young lover. Hire knows this and can provide the proof, but doesn't want to hurt Alice in the process.

 

Monsieur Hire est un être étrange et solitaire. Il est follement amoureux de la belle Alice mais garde précieusement son secret au fond de lui. Lorsqu'un crime est commis dans son quartier, les voisins et la police ne tardent pas à le soupçonner. Le véritable meurtrier n'est autre que le jeune amant d'Alice, mais Hire, qui pourrait bien en fournir la preuve, se garde bien de le faire par amour pour Alice.

 

DAS GEHEIMNIS DER GELBEN NARZISSEN (1961) * with switchable English subtitles *

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This time, a serial killer of prostitutes on the loose. His trademark? Beside each of the murdered corpses, he places a yellow daffodil. Jack Tarline, security expert for an airline, who supports Scotland Yard in their work, knows that these flowers are also being used to smuggle small amounts of heroin into the U.K. His main suspect, Raymond Lyne, soon shows himself to be innocent of the crime, as he, too, becomes the victim of the "Daffodil Killer".

 

Diesmal hat ein Serienkiller Prostituierte im Visier. Sein Markenzeichen: Neben den Leichen lässt er jeweils eine gelbe Narzisse liegen. Jack Tarling, Sicherheitsexperte einer Fluggesellschaft, der Scotland Yard bei der Arbeit unterstützt, weiß, daß diese Blumen auch zum Schmuggeln kleiner Mengen von Rauschgift benutzt werden. Sein Hauptverdächtiger Raymond Lyne erweist sich jedoch schnell als unschuldig, denn auch er wird ein Opfer des “Narzissen-Mörders”.

 

ILYA MUROMETS (1956) * with switchable English subtitles *

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In medieval Rus, the aging hero Svyatogor gives his sword to some traveling pilgrims to be passed on to a new savior. Meanwhile, Tatars from the east --- identified in the film as "Tugars", a fictional name invented out of political correctness --- are ravaging and pillaging the land. They raid the village where the lame Ilya Muromets lives and abduct his love, Vassilisa. A boyar, Mishatychka, is caught by the Tugars and swears to serve them if they spare his life. Soon, the pilgrims with Svyatogor's sword come upon the house of Ilya Muromets and cure his ailment with a magical potion and a magical song. They also give him the magic sword. Ilya arrives in Kyiv and insults a Tugar messenger sent by the Khan, who has come to demand twelve years worth of taxes in advance from the Kyivians. When the Khan's messenger throws a sword at Ilya, Ilya throws it back at the messenger's stomach, cutting him down while the rest of the Tugars run off. Ilya departs from the pregnant Vassilisa to fight the Turgars. Upon leaving, he expresses his wish for her to bear a son, to be called Sokolnichek (Little Falcon), who will become a heroic warrior. Unfortunately, Vassilisa is abducted by the Tugars. Mishatychka has become an important adviser to Lyiv's Prince Vladimir and tricks him into believing that Ilya is disloyal to him. Ilya is imprisoned in the castle's dungeons where he will eventually spend ten years deprived of food by Mishatychka. Soon, the Khan attacks Kyiv again and Ilya is released from prison. The prince begs him to fight for Rus.

 

DER HOFRAT GEIGER (1947)

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Councilor Franz Geiger, a retired civil servant, lives quietly with his servant Ferdinand in a villa in Vienna's Hietzing district. Even after retiring, he still works on files from his former office. For now and then, Ferdinand brings him "cases" from the ministry to help alleviate Geiger's loneliness. However, Geiger becomes suspicious working on Marianne Muhlhuber's application, a mother with a teenage daughter. Poring through the application, Geiger's beginning to wonder whether the young girl might be the result of a chance, romantic encounter he had with someone he met during an annual vacation trip more than 17 years ago.

 

Hofrat Franz Geiger, ein pensionierter Staatsbeamter, lebt zurückgezogen mit seinem Diener Ferdinand in einer Villa im Wiener Nobelbezirk Hietzing. Er bearbeitet auch nach seiner Pensionierung Akten aus dem Amt. Denn bisweilen bringt ihm Ferdinand "Fälle" aus dem Ministerium zur Erledigung mit, um Geiger über dessen Einsamkeit hinwegzuhelfen. Als Geiger den Antrag von Marianne Mühlhuber bearbeitet, die eine 17-jährige Tochter hat, wird er stutzig. Die Tochter seiner einstigen Urlaubsbekanntschaft könnte von ihm sein.

 

THE CIRCUS (1936) * with switchable English subtitles *

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Circus opens with a harrowing chase scene in an American town, where popular circus performer Marion Dixon is literally being run out of town by a bloodthirsty lynch mob. Why? Well, to find that out, you'll have to watch the film. In any event, she barely escapes with her life, jumping onto a moving train and collapsing into the arms of a visiting German on his way back to Europe. Forced to flee an intolerant United States, the woman ultimately finds political asylum in Moscow, where she's able to resume working as The Human Bullet in a circus. But Marion has not come to Moscow alone. With her is the German she met on the train, who now manages her vaudeville act. As is to be expected from a Soviet movie of 1936, he looks a bit like Hitler and his mind is filled with notions of white supremacy. He's also possessively in love with Marion and when she rejects him in favor of Ivan, the jilted German decides to ruin her career by revealing the secret reason for her flight from the USA to the circus audience.

 

For anyone who needs to ask himself where he/she falls on social and political issues, this film will make it very easy to provide the answer to the truly introspective. It is impossible to be "neutral" after watching this film: liberal reviewers see everything positive in its portrayal of American intolerance and German bigotry and embrace the myth of the perfect Soviet society, where everyone had free education, free healthcare, a job for life and where everyone was equal (except for the very few politicians and mafioso in their everpresent track suits, who were just a tad more equal than everyone else). That millions died to overthrow such a "perfect" system is either completely lost on fans of that kind of society or excused away with phrases of how the USSR had the right idea, but went astray. Gulags and day-long lines to buy stale bread and ersatz sausage --- when available --- are simply products of rabid, Republican, anti-Communist propaganda (who so hate the poor they oppress). To those whose social ideals fall to the right, the constant, inevitable snorts of derision from conservative viewers at idealistic depictions of tolerance, love for all and the home of democratic, socialist ideals will drown out the soundtrack. Nevertheless, propaganda aside, Circus is entertaining in a rather simplistic, way with an uncompromising one-sided view of "Us vs. Them". One of the film's best known songs became extremely popular --- you can hear it in the film sample --- and was even played in orphanages and the gulags, where the lyrics, "my country, where one can breathe the most free" no doubt brought about feelings of irony to at least a few of the camps' forced laborers.

 

DIE BANDE DES SCHRECKENS (1960) * with switchable English subtitles *

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After the sentencing and execution of the counterfeiter and bank robber Shelton, Scotland Yard is ready to finally close the file on another captured crook. But, oh: Not so fast! Shortly after the criminal is hanged, one corpse after another keeps landing at Scotland Yard's door; and they all have one thing in common: they all had a hand in Shelton's execution. Is it revenge? Chief Inspector Long's determined to find out. He goes to Shelton's grave and exhumes the body, only to find bricks in his coffin. But there's also a list, on which the names of the previous week's victims are listed ... and the names of others, who are soon to die.

 

Nach der Verurteilung und Hinrichtung des Fälschers Shelton sollte eigentlich Ruhe herrschen, aber weit gefehlt: Eine Leiche nach der anderen wird gefunden, und die Opfer haben eine Sache gemeinsam: Sie waren an der Verurteilung Sheltons beteiligt. Ein Rächer? Um sicherzugehen lässt Chefinspektor Long die Leiche exhumieren, und findet im Sarg – eine Liste, auf der die Opfer der vergangenen Wochen aufgelistet sind, und noch einige Menschen mehr!

 

DER ROTE KREIS (1960) * with switchable English subtitles *

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A brutal gang known as "The Red Circle" is blackmailing London's wealthy. And he who does not pay up, ends up dead. Inspector Parr is totally clueless, so the famous detective Derrick Yale -- known for his uncanny ability to sniff out the unsniffable -- is asked to tag along and help the incompetent cop. And, in fact, the detective is successful in tracking down the culprits. This leads the two men to Paris, where the following happened: a murderer condemned to death is about to be guillotined. But before his head can take leave of his body, the falling blade is blocked by a wayward nail on the guillotine. The blade, however, did make it partially onto his body and this left a "birthmark" of blood around his neck. The murderer was pardoned and ended up escaping from jail after being sentenced to life imprisonment instead. And there's no doubt, that this man is the leader of "The Red Circle". But what does he look like? And where is he hiding now?

 

Eine brutale Bande, die sich “Roter Kreis” nennt, erpresst die Reichen Londons. Wer auf ihre Forderungen nicht eingeht, wird ermordet. Inspektor Parr tappt im Dunkeln, weshalb ihm der berühmte Detektiv Derrick Yale zur Seite gestellt wird, der für seinen Spürsinn bekannt ist und mit dessen hervorragendem Ruf die aufgebrachte Öffentlichkeit beruhigt werden soll. Tatsächlich gelingt es den beiden Ermittlern denn auch, eine erste Spur aufzunehmen. Diese führt nach Paris, wo Folgendes geschehen ist: Ein zum Tode verurteilter Mörder sollte hingerichtet werden. Die Guillotine fiel – doch kurz bevor sie den Kopf vom Hals des Delinquenten trennen konnte, blieb sie an einem Nagel hängen. Sie verletzte den Mörder lediglich an der Kehle, weshalb sich eine Art roter Blutkreis um seinen Hals bildete. Der Mörder wurde begnadigt und verließ Paris. Und ohne Zweifel ist er der Anführer des “Roten Kreises”. Doch wie sieht er aus? Wo hält er sich versteckt?

 

DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE (1959) * with switchable English subtitles *

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Scotland Yard is baffled. A criminal gang, which calls itself "The Frogs", is causing serious trouble in England's capital. Luckily, the authorities are being helped by millionaire Richard Gordon, who's putting his own life at risk to track down the criminals. This turns out to be more dangerous than Gordon expected, for after he finds a bar, where "the frogs" do business, he's kidnapped.

 

Scotland Yard ist ratlos: Eine Bande, die sich selbst “die Frösche” nennt, bringt Unruhe in die englische Hauptstadt. Doch die Beamten bekommen Hilfe von dem Millionär Richard Gordon, der auf eigene Gefahr nach den Verbrechern suchen will. Dies ist allerdings wirklich gefährlich, denn nachdem Richard eine Bar gefunden hat, in der “die Frösche” und ihr Anführer angeblich verkehren, wird er entführt.

 

THE SINGING BLACKSMITH (1938) * with hard-encoded English subtitles *

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Moishe Oysher, the renowned cantor and star of Yiddish radio, stars in Edgar G. Ulmer’s musical version of David Pinski’s play Yankl der Shmid. Singing, dancing, and flashing his eyes, Oysher gives his most robust performance as a passionate shtetl blacksmith who must struggle against temptation in order to become a mensch.

 

KIND DER DONAU (1950)

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Marika, a talented singer and dancer, lives on a rundown steamship left to her by her deceased father and works in a restaurant run by her aunt. Her goal is to save up the money from her job to one day get the ship operational again. She gets to know three artistically-minded Bohemians --- Georg, Heinrich, and Oskar --- who are fascinated by the young girl and who spontaneously decide to support her in her ambitions (the fact she's beautiful no doubt had no part in their generous attention). While Georg comes up with the idea of making it big in the newspaper world, so he can use his success to get his superiors to financially help out the girl (a very practical notion that shouldn't take more than ten years to become a reality), Heinrich and Oskar suggest the more practical idea of Marika trying out her luck in the musical theatre world. And just as Marika is about to land a huge part in the city theatre, the place shuts down, leaving the disappointed applicants to open up their own place. The subsequent success of the new theatre gives Marika big ideas on how to be even more successful and make even more money (meanwhile, near middle-aged Georg's delivering newspapers with the local teens and still hoping to be noticed by his 17 year old boss).

 

Die stimmlich und tänzerisch begabte Marika lebt auf dem ausrangierten Donaudampfer ihres verstorbenen Vaters und arbeitet in der Gaststätte ihrer Tante. Ihr Ziel ist es, mit dem verdienten Geld das Schiff eines Tages wieder flottzumachen. Sie lernt die drei künstlerisch ambitionierten Bohemiens Georg, Heinrich und Oskar kennen, die alle drei von ihr fasziniert sind und sie spontan unterstützen wollen. Während Georg sich in einer Zeitung hocharbeiten will, um seinen Vorgesetzten die Renovierung des Dampfers ans Herz zu legen, empfehlen Heinrich und Oskar Marika, ihr musikalisches Talent im Theater zur Geltung zu bringen. Als kurz vor der Rollenverteilung für ein Stück die Schließung des städtischen Theaters bekannt gegeben wird, wollen die frustrierten Bewerber ein unabhängiges Volkstheater auf die Beine stellen. Der Riesenerfolg gibt Marikas Ideen und ihrem Engagement recht.

 

WHOM THE GODS LOVE (1936)

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1936 British biopic about the life and genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the strongpoint of which is the wonderful interpretation of the composer's music by Sir Thomas Beecham and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

OSTATNI ETAP (1947) * with switchable English subtitles *

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Marta Weiss, a Polish Jew, arrives by cattle car at the Auschwitz-Birkenau. She catches the attention of the camp commandant while translating his words from German into Polish to her fellow deportees. When she inquires about the factory at the camp a fellow inmate informs her it's a crematorium and that the rest of her family has been murdered. In the barracks, many of the women are dying and ill. Eugenia, a prisoner-doctor, tries her best to administer to them, but is unable to do much. The women learn that the International Red Cross is coming to the camp to observe the conditions of the prisoners. Eugenia learns a few key phrases in German and is able to tell the observers that everything they see is a lie and that people are dying. The SS tell the observers that Eugenia is mentally ill. Later they torture her to find out who taught her the German phrases, but Eugenia refuses to tell them and is murdered. Eugenia is replaced by Lalunia, a Polish Jew, who claims to have been rounded up by mistake and says she's a doctor, though she's actually only the wife of a pharmacist. However rather than administer medicine to the women of the camp, she distributes them among the kapos in exchange for luxuries like clothes and perfume.

 

The film, done in a demi-documentary fashion, is meant to reflect the personal experiences of the scriptwriter's time in the woman's camp at Birkenau. It is one of the earliest films about the Holocaust, and while there are unmistakable, historical errors and dramatic effects that take away from the truth, it is overall not only very accurate, but its treatment of the camp's Jews is especially sympathetic and factual ... something not always easy to find in postwar Poland. Unfortunately, there's also the artificial camraderie between the camp's Soviet prisoners and everyone else; the stress on one of the heroine's communist background, which landed her in the camp; and a soft-pedalling of the more horrific, daily events, which, by today's standards, would be considered shown in a rather trivial fashion. Nevertheless, for the time, a very poignant and powerful depiction. How the residents of the town of Auschwitz -- many of whom took part as extras in the movie -- dealt with having this movie filmed at the site of the camp not more than two or so years after its liberation will remain a perplexing, unanswered question.

 

Oparta na wspomnieniach, na wpół dokumentalna opowieść o martyrologii kobiet w niemieckim obozie Auschwitz-Birkenau i bohaterstwie więźniów z izby chorych, tworzących w tym „kombinacie śmierci” ruch oporu. Obraz ludzkich cierpień i tragedii, ale także walki człowieka o swoją godność. Polska Żydówka, Marta, pełni w obozie funkcję tłumaczki, pomaga innym więźniarkom i działa w organizacji ruchu oporu. Po nieudanej próbie ucieczki ginie tuż przed wyzwoleniem obozu. Helenę ukrywa w obozowym szpitalu francuska więźniarka, lecz nowo narodzone dziecko uśmierca niemiecki lekarz. Eugenia, rosyjska lekarka, za pomoc udzialaną chorym i organizowanie oporu zostaje poddana torturom i stracona. Niemiecka komunistka, demaskuje pseudolekarkę niemiecką, Lalunię, i trafia do obozowego bunkra. Wśród oprawców jest i sadystyczna Rapportfuehrerin, i zbrodniczy lekarz, i okrutna, bezwzględna, choć nie pozbawiona pewnych ludzkich cech Oberaufseherin. Film kończy wezwanie umierającej Marty: „Nie pozwólcie, żeby Oświęcim się powtórzył!”.

 

NACHTS AUF DEN STRASSEN (1952) * with switchable English subtitles *

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German film classic from the year 1952 with Hans Albers and Hildegard Knef in one of the first German "Road Movies". Truck driver Heinrich Schluter is on the highway to Frankfurt one night, when he comes upon a car accident and stops. Looking in on the now dead driver, Heinrich takes a load of money from the bashed-up car. When the police show up, he discovers the dead man was a wanted currency smuggler and thus considers it only right he hold onto the money he stole from the dead man. Consumed with thoughts about his daughter, who just got married, he picks up the hitchhiker Inge Hoffmann, who reminds him of the child now departed from the family home with her new husband. The hitchhiker tells Heinrich about her brother and the two start getting to know one another better. In reality, however, the fawning twenty-four year old wants to use the truck driver to smuggle drugs. Moral of the story? There's no fool, like an old fool.

 

Deutscher Kinoklassiker mit Hans Albers und Hildegard Knef aus dem Jahr 1952, der als einer der ersten deutschen Road Movies gezählt werden kann. LKW-Fahrer Heinrich Schlüter fährt gerade nachts die Autobahn Richtung Frankfurt, als er an einem verunglückten Wagen vorbeifährt und anhält. Beim toten Fahrer findet er viel Geld. Als die Polizei eintrifft, erfährt er, dass der Tote ein gesuchter Devisenschieber war und sieht sich somit im Recht, das Geld zu behalten. In Gedanken schon wieder bei seiner Tochter, die gerade geheiratet hat, und seinr Frau, nimmt er dennoch die hübsche Anhalterin Inge Hoffmann mit, die ihm von ihrem Bruder erzählt und sich bei ihm einschmeichelt. Tatsächlich will sie aber Rauschgift schmuggeln.

 

THEY MET IN MOSCOW (1941) * with switchable English subtitles *

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Kolkhoznik workers Glasha and Kuzma from a farm in the Vologda Region are sent to an agricultural exhibition in Moscow. Kuzma is popular among the girls and cares for Glasha -- but from a distance -- and is thinking only about all the shops they'll see in Moscow. Glasha, at the behest of her grandmother, carefully studies the experience of breeders in the capital. By chance, she meets a Dagestan shepherd (Musaib) at the exhibition and they fall in love with each other. They agree to meet at the Agricultural Exhibition once again in a year's time. Upom returning to the kolkhoz, Glasha builds a new pig house and takes care of the pigs, inventing a feeder for piglets. Kuzma, however, spends time walking through the village with his accordion and bores Glasha. For his part, Musaib sends letters to Glasha, but no one can read them. Kuzma volunteers to help translate them and gives Glasha fakes, which state that Musaib has gotten married. Kuzma will eventually settle a bet in his favor by marrying Glasha after telling her baldfaced lies about her lover (a talent many learned well to survive in the Soviet Union).

 

MAN BRAUCHT KEIN GELD (1932) * with improved picture and switchable, English subtitles *

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Family Brandt has lost its fortune in oil speculation, and they have great debts at the local bank. This one is threatened with its own crash due to lack of money. The only hope is Brandt's uncle Thomas Hoffman, an American millionaire, who is coming for a visit. Bank Accountant Schmidt uses his own money to welcome him properly, presenting himself as Brandt's daughter's fiance, but it turns out, that Hoffmann never was a millionaire, in fact he still owns the city of Chicago about $100 for medical treatment. Yet with his existence alone he starts a big scheme to bring back prosperity. Surprisingly it works, yet there are some problems: FIRST - Chicago wants the money back, asking at the foreign office in Berlin for help, and SECOND - Hoffmann does not like the scheme at all, and tries to go back to his quiet and peaceful Chicago.

 

Heinz Schmidt ist ein einfacher Bankangestellter im von der Weltwirtschaftskrise geschüttelten Deutschland von 1931. Die Bank des kleinen Städtchens Groditzkirchen steht wie viele Bankunternehmen kurz vor der Pleite. Als der Unternehmer Brandt ebenfalls durch Spekulationen in die Krise gerät, hat Schmidt einen Einfall. Er macht aus dem armen Thomas Hoffmann einen reichen Onkel aus Amerika. Fortan wird Hoffmann von der Obrigkeit hofiert. Über diesen Schwindel kommt Schmidt der hübschen Käthe Brandt näher, die eine Nichte von Hoffmann ist. Als Schmidt auch noch einen Ölboom inszeniert, verlieren die Familie Brandt wie auch alle übrigen vollends den Blick für die Realität. Selbst als der Schwindel auffliegt, verlangen sie von Schmidt, dass er das Spiel weiter aufrechterhält, da Groditzkirchen mittlerweile von überall her Kredite erhält und sich so zu einer boomenden Stadt entwickelt hat.

 


 

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