Fritz Schulz

T. alt.: Ein Sonntag im Sommer in Wien. Scen.: Felix Joachimson, Rudolf Bernauer. F.: Viktor Gluck. M.: Paul Falkenberg. Scgf.: Stefan Wessely, Oskar Etwanik. Mus.: Hans May. Int.: Fritz Schulz (Fritz Wiesinger), Olly Gebauer (Anny), Felix Bressart (Kriegel), Rosy Barsony (Ilona), Tibor von Halmay (Karl), Josef Rehberger (Rudy May), Hans Unterkircher (barone Rivali). Prod.: Wien-Film KG Morawsky & Co. DCP. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Salto in die Seligkeit is a charming entry in the rich tradition of department store comedies. As spaces of both commerce and leisure frequented by people of different social strata and filled with brand-new gadgets of all kinds, big shops provide a rich environment for the plots of romance and mistaken identity that power many German-language exile films. In this one, a man (Fritz Schulz) hired to trick gullible customers into buying what they do not need, falls in love with a flower girl (Olly Gebauer), who unfortunately takes his shop talk at face value. Complications ensue. The biggest laughs, meanwhile, are pr vided by two mainstays of German exile cinema: Felix Bressart as the world’s worst store detective and Hungarian whirlwind Rosy Barsony who, try as you might, just will not stop dancing until the shoe supply runs out. Updating the nostalgic sentimentality of the so-called Viennese Film, a decidedly Austrian brand of comedies usually set in an idealised past, to a contemporary setting, Salto in die Seligkeit paints consumer culture as an almost utopian sphere. All romantic and material ambitions – or at least those of the aspirational middle classes – can be fulfilled here, while the political and social upheavals of the time seem to be completely absent. Only a few years later, though, when the Nazis took power in Austria in 1938, Jewish actor-director Fritz Schulz was arrested and deported to Buchenwald. Thanks to the intervention of his former wife, silent movie star Ágnes Esterházy, he was released and managed to find refuge in Switzerland.

Lukas Foerster

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