Monday, April 29, 2019

Heimweh....dort wo die Blumen Blüh'n ( 1957 )

Somewhere I read that if you watch one Heimatfilm you've seen them all. That is a bit of a stretch, but it is true that after seeing twenty or so, they begin to blur together. 

In Hollywood pictures you would find character actors who appeared more frequently in one type of genre than in others...e.g Harry Carey Jr. or Edgar Buchanan liked westerns while Marjorie Main and Mary Wickes preferred comedies. In Germany, this was also the case, and many of the main actors and supporting players who starred in Heimatfilms enjoyed that genre and made a number of them. So you cannot rely on the actor's faces to bring to mind the title. Then, the similarities of the titles do not help matters much either. This film, Heimweh....dort wo die Blumen Blüh'n ( 1957 ), is not to be confused with Heimatlos ( 1958 ), Wenn die Alpenrosen blüh'n ( 1955 ), Solange noch die Rosen blüh'n ( 1956 ), or Dort oben, wo die Alpen glühen (1956). Lots of bloomin' titles! 

In this film, you will find a little more drama than usual in a Heimatfilm. A young woman ( Sabine Bethman ) attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself into a river but is saved by a priest  ( Hans Holt ) who is traveling with a busload of sängerknaben ( choir boys ). The priest takes her to the monastery and the boys and the parish staff all try to cheer her, but to no avail. It is not until she enters confession with Father Benedict and tells him the story of her lost romance that she feels her depression begin to subside. Of course, this flashback sequence is for the benefit of the audience who get to witness a little romance between her and her engineer supervisor ( Rudolf Prack ). 

Heimweh has some pleasant moments but on the whole, it is very forgettable. The only memorable part of the film is its theme song "Heimweh" performed by Freddy Quinn and played throughout the movie. Freddy was an extremely popular entertainer from Austria and "Heimweh" ( the German version of Dean Martin's "Memories are Made of This" ) was his first million-selling hit single. So it seems as though Heimweh...dort wo die Blumen Bluh'n was the result of some screenwriters who hurriedly typed out a script to cash in on the popularity of the song. 

The film also features a great supporting cast but unfortunately, their talents are all wasted in parts that are too insignificant. The lovable Joseph Egger could have been a comforting character to the poor young woman but instead, he is in only a few scenes tinkering with a radio or bickering with Annie Rosar, another great actress who has too small a part. 

Hans Holt may be familiar to The Sound of Music fans because he played Captain von Trapp in the original Die Trapp Familie ( 1956 ). Rudolf Prack is always a pleasure to watch, and also in the cast is Paul Horbiger, a legend in German cinema. 

Heimweh....dort wo die Blumen Blüh'n is not yet available on DVD but if you are willing to see where "the flowers bloom" then you can view it on Youtube.

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