Tit. Alternativo: “Old Vienna”; Scen.: Rowland V. Lee, Basata Sulla Sceneggiatura Di Norbert Falk E Robert Liebmann; Int.: Lilian Harvey (Chrystel), Henri Garat (Zar Alessandro Di Russia/Uralsky, Suo Sosia), Gibb Mclaughlin (Bibikoff), Conrad Veidt (Metternich), Reginald Purdell (Pepi), Lil Dagover (Contessa), Philip Manning (Re Di Sassonia), Humberston Wright (Duca Di Wellington), Helen Haye (Principessa), Spencer Trevor (Ministro Delle Finanze), Thomas Weguelin (Sindaco Di Vienna), Tarquini D’or (Cantante); 16mm. D.: 85’.
Made in German, French and English versions by UFA’s premier production unit headed by Erich Pommer, the film represents the technically brilliant pinnacle of the kind of celluloid-operetta/musical with which European cinema aimed to fend off Hollywood’s hegemony on the international market. It was the company’s most expensive feature of the 1931-32 season. The film is deeply rooted in the conventions of popular German stage operettas and the then fashionable genre of Wien-Filme. Not at all interested in History or the musical traditions of the early 19th century, its attraction and enormous success rests on spectacle, popular stars and catchy tunes, which have subsequently become true classics – as has the film itself, particularly with older German tv-audiences.
Horst Claus – Brighton University