During a leave in Berlin, Lieutenant Paul Wendlandt, a young Luftwaffe pilot, falls for Anna Holberg, a famous singer, who returns his love. But in time of war it is hard to live on love ...
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During a leave in Berlin, Lieutenant Paul Wendlandt, a young Luftwaffe pilot, falls for Anna Holberg, a famous singer, who returns his love. But in time of war it is hard to live on love only. The lovers keep being separated on account of Paul's missions and their intended marriage ceremony is constantly postponed. To cap it all, misunderstanding sets in between Paul and Anna. Will they ever become the happy couple they deserve to be?Written by
In the 12 years that were the "1000-jähriges Reich" the UFA produced four types of movies. First, there were films like Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph des Willens" which had the purpose of winning more and more social strata over to the ideas of fascism ('Führerprinzip', 'Volksgemeinschaft', 'Opferbereitschaft', etc.). Recruitment by means of impressive visual iconography.
Secondly the ministry of propaganda tried to prepare the Germans for the so-called 'Endlösung' by intensifying the existing anti-Semitism to the most extreme degree with films like Veit Harlan's notorious "Jud Süß". These films are the most vile and abhorrent (but also the most clumsy and gross) concoctions in film-history.
In the last years of WWII the UFA put great effort in so-called 'Durchhaltefilme' (most infamous example: Harlan's "Kolberg"). With these Goebbels tried to force the war-weary soldiers and civilians to hold out to the end and keep on fighting to the last bullet.
However, the most popular and successful UFA-movies during the third Reich did not belong to these three categories, but were primarily made in order to entertain the audience and take it's mind off the war. The propaganda for the Nazi-cause in these films was much more subtle (yet still evident in most cases). "Die große Liebe" is a prime example for such an 'UFA-Unterhaltungsfilm', because it was seen by 28 million viewers till the end of the war (and thus still holds the record for any film in Germany as far as I know; for comparison "Titanic" had 'only' 17 million viewers, and that was considered a unique success). Nevertheless "Die große Liebe" is almost forgotten today, albeit every German still knows the two songs that Zarah Leander sings in this film: "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen" and "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter". The lyrics of these songs seem to be smarter than their author, because they work both as 'Durchhaltelieder' (as intended) and as sarcastic commentaries on the last years of the 3rd Reich. As such they were used by directors like Fassbinder and Vilsmaier.
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