This is a great movie; too great to be lost and forgotten! There may not be so many copies in existence - I missed 2 in auctions and I have one. So I know that there are 3. The scene is a lively medieval town, about 1300 AD, run by the mayor and the bishop. The former for his and the town's advantage, the latter for his and the Church's advantage. An "Italian" conman (Scorupco) vows to raise the last ten year's dead in a weeks time. This dangerous promise is defused by the living for the most part seeing only disadvantage and being willing to pay to avoid this. The mayor is made an accomplice by referring to him the decision and the bribes. The end-game is deft, exiting and intelligent. The young Izabella Scorupco is very good as the Italian conman and very lovely (all of her) as a woman. The supporting cast are excellent Swedish and Finnish professionals. This movie is worth a full DVD treatment - the colors brightened, dubbed in English and French etc and subtitled.
Die Fledermaus (1946)The greatest Fledermaus
13 June 2005
This Fledermaus was produced just before the end of the war. During the chaos at the end of the war the sound-track was lost and had to be re-recorded after the war with the then available equipment and with the same cast. This according to Neue Zürcher Zeitung in about 1948. I saw it several times in Zürich at this time. Modern technology has now done much to improve the sound quality. I approve of a man, in this case non-singing Siegfried Breuer, playing the roll of Prinz Orlowsky. Breuer makes a good prince. Some years later Peter Alexander produced a Fledermaus in which a tenor played/sang the role. This worked very well, tho the rest was not very good. A man should play/sing the title roll in Der Rosenkavalier. I know that these rolls were written for a castrato, but, in the case of Fledermaus, an operette contralto won't do - I have heard/seen several such performances and the poor ladies were hardly audible. You need a powerful contralto and tall, broad-shouldered and flat-chested operatic or wagnerian contraltos are rare. After all, the producers/directors are in the business of creating an illusion for both eye and ear, which is why I have written "play/sing" - too often the singing is good, the acting week.