On 19 August 1948, the residents of Salzburg, Austria --- then in the American occupation zone --- had the opportunity to attend the premiere of a film claiming to be an epic about Austria and its people. The film covered a period starting in 1888, shortly before the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling and ended with "the present day", i.e., the rebuilding of Austria after the end of World War II. The film was based on a novel of the same name by Ernst Lothar, a successful writer and theatre director, who fled to the United States in 1938. Having joined the American Army in the fight against Hitler, he returned to his native country as quickly as possible and by June 1946, was placed in charge of reviving the country's cultural life in the Allied zones. Der Engel mit der Posaune was meant to reveal the true lives and scandals of many Austrians, who hid their dirty laundry behind baroque facades, correct behavior, and unquestioned traditions. The house in the movie symbolizes Austria. Franz Alt and his brother Otto Ebrhard admire and ape the Emperor's dedication to the status quo and repression of progressive ideas. Franz' wife Henriette, however, lives a double life. Franz married her, fully aware that she had been close to the Crown Prince. Unlike the novel, the film prefers to present her relationship to the royal family as strictly platonic; but tragedy and long-reaching consequences result from this relationship, which affect the lives of all related and connected to Henriette over a fifty year period.
Der Film beginnt 1888, in der bürgerlichwohlhabenden Welt einer Wiener Klaviermacher-Familie. Ueber dem Eingang ihres Hauses prangt ein Engel aus Stein, der mit vollen Backen eine Posaune bläst. Franz Alt, der Chef des Hauses, heiratet Henriette Stein, die Tochter eines verstorbenen Universitäts-Professors, obwohl er erfährt, daß Henriette mit dem österreichischen Kronprinzen Rudolf bekannt ist. Die Historie und das Leben der Alts gehen miteinander über die weiße Wand: Der plötzliche Tod des Kronprinzen, die k. u. k.-Zeit mit einem Duell, der erste Weltkrieg, aus dem Franz Alt, gelähmt zurückkehrt.
DVD-R is in German with switchable English and German subtitles. Approx. 131 min. See film sample for audio and video quality!