BRIDE, THE (DIE VERKAUFTE BRAUT)
(director/writer: Max Ophuls; screenwriters: Curt
the Bedrich Smetana opera The Bartered
Bride; cinematographers: Franz Koch/Reimar Kuntze;
editor: Paul May; cast: Willy Domgraf-Fassbaender (Hans), Karl Valentin (Rudolph Brummer), Jarmila Novotna (Marie), Paul Kemp (Wenzel), Otto Wernicke (Marriage
Broker), Max Schreck (Apache circus performer), Liesl Karlstadt (Katinka Brummer), Annemarie
Brummer, their daughter), Richard Révy (Finanzrat);
Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ludwig Scheer/Hermann
Rosenfeld; Triad DVD; 1932-Germany-in German
with English subtitles)
"Lighthearted and enjoyable adaptation of the opera by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Future master filmmaker Max Ophuls ("Le Plaisir"/"Caught"/"The Reckless Moment"), in his second film, stylistically directs this lighthearted and enjoyable adaptation of the opera by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana.
It takes place in 1855, in a country
village in Germany-Bohemia. We witness an arranged
marriage by a cartoonish-like marriage broker (Otto
Wernicke). He fixes up a match between the mayor's
pretty daughter Marie (Jarmila Novotna) and Wenzel (Paul Kemp),
the dopey son of a rich landowner. Moments before the
wedding, Marie meets in the town's fairgrounds a
coachman named Hans (Willy Domgraf-Fassbaender), who is
passing through town but stops to fix a wheel on his
carriage. They both fall in love on first sight, and
Marie rejects Wenzel and vows to marry the poor
coachman. Meanwhile Wenzel runs off to the grounds where
the traveling circus has just arrived and meets the
dancer Esmeralda (Annemarie Sorensen), who is the
daughter of the circus owner-clown-ringmaster Rudolph Brummer
(Karl Valentin). Wenzel and Esmeralda fall in love on
first sight, but the circus is not allowed to perform
because they owe a tax of 300 Guldens from last year.
Wenzel promises he will get the money, and her parents
accept him as an artist with money.
Wenzel and Hans meet by accident on
the road, after Wenzel's parents refuse to give him the
money. When it's learned that Wenzel wishes to marry
Esmeralda and not Marie, Hans tricks the marriage broker
into giving him the money needed for the circus to
settle its debt by promising he will not marry Marie.
The marriage broker then announces to everyone in town
that Marie is a brokered bride, and the shamed Marie
refuses to see Hans.
A comedy of errors ensues until the
ones who love each other get matched up. The opera music
goes on--with celebrated
Czech opera diva Jarmila Novotna making one of her
rare appearances on film.
REVIEWED ON 2/21/2012 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ