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SKU 192

LA HABANERA (1937) * with switchable English subtitles*

Zarah Leander, Ferdinand Marian and Karl Martell, Douglas Sirk

Die junge Schwedin Astrée reist mit ihrer Tante nach Puerto Rico und ist von dieser Insel wie verzaubert. Sie verliebt sich in den reichen selbstherrlichen Großgrundbesitzer Don Pedro, der sie heiratet. Obwohl sie einen Sohn haben, ist ihr Leben eine Qual. Ihr herrschsüchtiger Mann hält sie wie eine Gefangene. Nach Jahren einer zerrütteten Ehe wird sie krank vor Heimweh. Da kommt ihr Jugendfreund Dr. Nagel auf die Insel, um das Tropenfieber zu bekämpfen. Jährlich sterben daran Hunderte von Menschen, was aber von Don Pedro und den Behörden geleugnet wird. Trotzdem lädt er Dr. Nagel zu einem Empfang in sein Haus ein. Während Astrée sein Lieblingslied, "La Habanera" singt, bricht Don Pedro zusammen. Das Tropenfieber hat auch ihn angesteckt. Dr. Nagel will das von ihm entwickelte Serum holen lassen, um ihn zu retten, doch Helfer Don Pedros haben es auf sein Geheiß vernichtet. Er stirbt einen qualvollen Tod. Astrée kehrt mit ihrem Sohn und Dr. Nagel in ihre Heimat zurück.  

Astrée and her aunt from Sweden are vacationing in Puerto Rico.  Astrée is enchanted by the local habanera musicas well as by Don Pedro de Avila, a rich and powerful landowner.  Upon embarkation, she spontaneously decides to stay; she runs down the gangway, finds him waiting for her, and soon is married. Ten years later - it is now 1937 - Astrée finds herself trapped in an unhappy marriage.  Her paradise has turned to hell; only her son, Juan, is the reason for her to stay.  Meanwhile in Stockholm, Dr. Sven Nagel, a former lover of Astrée, and his associate, Dr. Gomez, bid farewell.  They are departing for Puerto Rico to investigate the mysterious and deadly Puerto Rico fever.  On the island, their arrival is met with dismay by Don Pedro and his business associates as they fear the focus on the Puerto Rico fever will depress their business; so they plan to deny its existence.  An earlier attempt by researchers from the Rockefeller Institute to find a cure had been a failure, and the resulting publicity had depressed the local economy and rsulted in widespread famine.  Once in Puerto Rico, the two investigators receiving no local support proceed to conduct their studies on their own in the hotel room.  Meanwhile, Astrée has a fall-out with her husband about their son.  He wants him to learn about bull-fighting, while she has been teaching him about snow and Sweden.  Thus Don Pedro decides to take the education of Juan out of her hands.  Astrée in response books a passage to leave Puerto Rico with her son to return to Sweden. Meanwhile the Puerto Rico fever is starting to claim its first victims, and Drs. Nagel and Gomez search for a cure secretly.  Don Pedro learns about Astree’s plans and suspects that Dr. Nagel is involved.  He invites him for a soiree to have an opportunity to have his hotel room searched and gain evidence against him for his arrest and deportation.  Thus at the soiree Dr. Nagel and Astrée meet and fall in love again.  Astrée sings La Habanera presumably for her husband, but the song declares her love for the doctor.


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