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16.05.2015 16:49Simply the best!,
If you want to see a delightful musical and with Lilian Harvey at her best, look no further than 1938's 'Capriccio.' Imagine a French costume picture reminiscent of a Mozart comic opera about a woman (Harvey) posing as a man, creating amusing situations a la 'Viktor und Viktoria' and this comes close to describing the movie's plot. Besides the operetta-like score there's some jazz music that should be anachronistic but works well to add more laughs. Everything about this film including the humorous songs & dance numbers rival the best of any Hollywood musical of that era. We watched this yesterday and were swept away by its inventiveness. Paul Kemp who almost stole 'Amphitryon' from his co-stars is almost as good here. The film is comparable to 'Amphitryon' with its fantasy element of a dead relative relating the plot and giving advice. What's most interesting is that the director, Karl Ritter, was known for making mostly military-propaganda films like 'Stukas' so how he made a musical comedy this entertaining is a mystery. I can't find Hitler and Goebbels's reasons for disliking this film because it makes fun of the French but maybe not enough to suit their propaganda needs. Maybe they disliked the satirical jabs at the institutions of marriage and courts, nuns, and almost everything else in society. I suspect the main reason 'Capriccio' had a short run was due to punish Harvey for her activities a year earlier. According to Wiki: "As she was still in touch with her Jewish colleagues, Harvey was placed under close observation by the Gestapo. Nevertheless she pushed the career of her protégé, director Paul Martin, performing in his screwball comedy Glückskinder (1936)... In June 1937 Harvey had helped the choreographer Jens Keith, prosecuted under Paragraph 175 for his homosexuality by posting bail for him. Released from custody, Keith escaped to Paris; this led to her stern interrogation by the Nazi authorities. In 1939, Harvey was forced to leave Germany herself, leaving her real-estate fortune, which was confiscated." Anyway this film is one to watch over & over because you'll miss some of the verbal and visual jokes the first time and maybe second . Ignore the description here of "Some softness and pixellization." It's hardly noticeable and overall video & audio is very good.