SKU 1818
Availability

WIENER BLUT (1942) * with switchable English subtitles *

Willi Forst, Willy Fritsch, Maria Holst and Hans Moser
(1)
$14.99

Der Wiener Operettenfilm schlechthin propagierte in Zeiten der NS-Herrrschaft das "Österreichtum" durchaus in Opposition zum preußisch geprägten Hitler-Deutschland. Während des Wiener Kongresses weilt der norddeutsche Graf Wolkersheim als Diplomat vor Ort und schmäht den beliebten Walzer als "sinnloses Gehopse", worüber er mit seiner Frau Melanie in Streit gerät. Schon bald wird er eines besseren belehrt und verfällt obendrein der charmanten Tänzerin Liesl. Seine unerwartet zurückgekehrte Gattin wird auf dem Hofball mit dieser verwechselt.

The Viennese operetta films promoted a "feeling of Austria" in the times of Nazi rule, which very much contrasted the Hitler Germany dominated by Prussia. During the Vienna Congress, the north German Count Wolkersheim is bored to tears as Prussian diplomat in the Habsburg court and smears the city's beloved walzes as "senseless garbage", which leads to a fight with his wife, Melanie. He's taught otherwise pretty soon and falls for the charming dancer, Liesl. The unexpected return of his wife is confused with the dancer at the court ball.

 

THERE IS A NEWSREEL ALONG WITH THE FILM, JUST AS GERMAN AUDIENCES MIGHT HAVE SEEN WHEN THE MOVIE WAS FIRST SHOWN (except this newsreel may not be contemporary to when the film was released).

DVD-R IS IN GERMAN WITH SWITCHABLE ENGLISH SUBTITLES 

QUALITY (of feature film only): 

 

·        Sharpness of picture?  - Excellent, digital DVD quality 

 

 

LENGTH OF FEATURE FILM:  105 mins

LENGTH OF NEWSREEL:  19 mins

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW.  IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):

play button

A wonderful musical, 7/5/2016 11:07 AM
From: John C
1942's WEINER BLUT directed by Willy Forst was one of the biggest box office hits of the Third Reich and it hold up well today. This charming, funny, and lavish musical never lags and is free of propaganda or maybe not as I will explain later. The story takes place during the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) which we know from the 1932 Weimar classic DER KONGRESS TANTZ (CONGRESS DANCES). There are some similarities involving the nobility mixing with the lower classes, mistaken identities, and squabbling couples who succumb to the charms of Vienna, but each film is equally good on its own terms. The German title literally translates as 'Viennese Blood' but a more accurate one would be 'Viennese Spirit' as the story shows how the city's values, mostly its love of music, singing and dancing, permeate everyone and everything as you'll see when you watch the film.

The film begins with Forst dressed as a pharmacist mixing an potion of humor, happiness, heart, and history. Once he adds music, the story begins where we're transported to old Vienna. Willy Fritsch plays a stuffy count from another province who's traveling to Vienna as a diplomat to Metternich's Congress accompanied by his wife who was born there. He dislikes everything about the city and it's up to his wife and their servants to teach him otherwise, but it takes a vivacious dancer who loosens him up with her charms and dancing lessons. There's some humorous confusion that begins when he's forced to present her as his wife while his real one is mistaken later for the dancer at the grand ball. The two woman become allies as they sing the title waltz and eventually everything works out well for everyone. Two great character actors, Hans Moser and Theo Lingen, play the married couple's valets who put aside their differences and help solve the couple's cultural issues threatening their marriage and they almost steal the film from the leads with their comic verbal and slapstick antics.

There's no propaganda here because, according to Sabine Hake in her study 'Popular Cinema of the Third Reich,' after Germany annexed Austria in 1938, the studio head of Wein-Film told his staff "to seek themes that are located in the distant past and have nothing to do with the present.'' The films would concentrate on everything famous about Vienna and Austria and their avoidance of anything hinting at the current political situation made them escapist entertainment and acceptable to Goebbels as more of these harmless films were needed to boost public morale as WWII intensified in the early 1940's. Hake sees the film and its quarreling couple as "a veiled commentary on Austria's unwillingness to 'understand' its place in the geopolitical ambitions of the Reich... The man's initial disregard for local customs could be a reference to the Germans' inability to recognize the valuable contribution of Austrian culture. However, in the same way he must overcome his contempt for what he calls 'dancers through life,' she must become more 'German' and recognize the importance of work." Hake continues this analogy with their German and Austrian valets who represent their opposite national traits: "Their decision after some initial antagonism to work together in reconciling the couple is obviously intended to serve as a behavioral model for film audiences in... [Austria]... and elsewhere." It's an interesting interpretation that she elaborates, but is this what the filmmakers had in mind?

Regardless of what you want to read into the film or don't, you will enjoy it like a delicious Viennese pastry. Imagine how much better it would have been if it was filmed in the Afga Color process. This DVD's video and audio quality is very good!  Thanks again, guys!
Was this review helpful? 1 0

Product tags