Friday, August 18, 2017

Das Herz Einer Frau ( 1951 )

This past month my sister and I have been exploring German films of the 1950s, and in doing so we came across a popular genre that we were unaware of called Heimatfilms. These films were set in the mountainous areas of southern Germany, Switzerland, or Austria and often featured sentimental stories of love and friendship that centered on the traditional "heimat" ( homeland ) rural way of life. Many of them focused on the difference between this old German way of living and more modern progressive ways.

Since we have been enjoying these films so much we will review them as part of a new series - Heimatfilme and other Deutsche Films of the 1940s-1960s. If you ever feel in the mood for some sweet romance and yodeling than simply click on the banner on the right sidebar and you will find plenty of German films to enjoy for yourself. 

To begin... Das Herz Einer Frau. This is not a Heimatfilm, rather a sehr schön family musical from Nova-Film, which was an Austrian production company that lasted only a few years in the early 1950s. It features Marianne Schönauer, that beautiful Viennese actress/singer, in the role of a musical stage star who befriends Konrad ( Kurti Baumgartner ), a little boy who is looking for a mother. 
One day this boy happens to see an advertisement that has a picture of a mother with her child and, dissatisfied with his stern governess, he decides to find a woman just like the one in the ad. He does a little window shopping, comes across Theo Moreno ( Schönauer ) having a cup of coffee, and asks her to come home with him and be his mother. She finds him irresistible ( he is! ) and agrees to take him home, whence she meets Konrad's papa ( Stefan Stodler ), a widowed engineer. She continues to visit them on a daily basis, until papa finds out that she is a popular stage star and he gets the notion in his head that she may have been visiting his son merely for publicity purposes. 

Das Herz Einer Frau has a number of lovely Nico Dostal tunes, all performed by Marianne Schönauer, including "Fur Jedes Herz Scheint ein Stern in der Welt" and "Das Schönste an der Liebe". I was more interested in the story plot than the musical numbers, so some of the songs Theo Moreno is performing on stage seem a little long, but then the audiences probably came to hear her sing so that's what the director focused on. And she does indeed have a beautiful singing voice. 
Kurti Baumgartner is wonderful as little Konrad and he doesn't display any of that self-conscious cuteness that many modern child actors do. He only made three films, one of which was made right after this picture featuring Marianne Schönauer again - Maria Theresia.

Also in the cast is Walter Müller as Theo's publicity agent, Hella Ferstl, and Rudolph Brix. 

Want to watch Das Herz Einer Frau right now? It's available on Youtube...just click here. 

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a little charmer, and I love concert singers, so - on the list it goes!

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  2. I love reading about films I know nothing about--and this is one of those. It does indeed sound like a charming comedy. Kurti Baumgartner sounds like a natural child performer. It's interesting that he only appeared in three films.

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    1. I, too, like to explore new titles, Rick. Lately, I've been hooked on these Heimatfilms so now everyone else has to catch the Lederhoser fever, too!

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  3. Thanks for highlighting films like this. I'm trying to branch out and watch more foreign films. So far I've only watched modern ones. But this one looks charming and I do love a good classic film.

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    1. Brittaney, I'm glad we can introduce you to something new. If you want to start exploring Heimatfilms than check out Der schoenste Tag meines Lebens ( 1956 ). Here is the link :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPuaYKmSx24&t=139s

      It's a sweet family film and gives you a good glimpse of the famous Vienna Boys Choir and their school ( did you know that the little singers live in a palace away from home when they are not singing? ).

      Also, you might like Die Familie Trapp ( 1956 ). This is the original Sound of Music and it, too, is on outube with English subtitles. Both are very entertaining!

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