Erich Engel

Scen : Walter Reisch. F.: Willy Goldberger. M.: Andrew Marton. Scgf.: Robert Neppach. Mus.: Robert Stolz. Int.: Liane Haid (Tilla Morland), Willi Forst (Ulrich Weidenau), Margarete Schlegel (Emmy Stein), Otto Wallburg (Baron), Fritz Odemar (Publisher), Ernö Verebes (Jerome Toenli). Prod.: Super-Film GmbH

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

When purging Jewish entertainers from German screens, Joseph Goebbels was especially eager to get rid of Max Hansen –a singer and actor whose playful, self-deprecating, somewhat effeminate screen persona was the very opposite of the Nazi vision of Aryan masculinity. And the women liked this “distant brother of Chaplin” (Lotte Eisner), too. Here, he plays a small-time hustler called Max, who, after unsuccessfully trying to scam an old lady, all but falls into the bed of Ilse (Jenny Jugo). At a moment’s notice, the young woman decides to play along with his act and hides him under her covers from the police, with the result that very soon she is in need of a place to sleep herself. In a world of shabby apartments, nosy neighbours and makeshift living arrangements, the lovers have to fight for every inch ofprivacy. A trip to the funfair promises some relief, but soon leads to even more complications.
Wer nimmt die Liebe ernst…? is the feature debut of theatre-trained director Erich Engel, who frequently collaborated with Bertolt Brecht in the 1920s, but when he worked in cinema, specialised in light comedy. He directs a smart Hermann Kosterlitz script with understated elegance, often integrating silent movie techniques into sound film. As in many early German sound comedies, our sympathies lie firmly with the drifters and outcasts, the countless victims of the Great Depression roaming the streets of all major cities. The hypocrisies of the bourgeoisie, on the other hand, find a perfect embodiment in Otto Wallburg, one of the great character actors of late Weimar cinema.

Lukas Foerster

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