Das Schloss in Flandern (1936)

aka Castle in Flanders
Article 3227 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-19-2010
Posting Date: 6-15-2010
Directed by Geza von Bolvary
Featuring Martha Eggerth, Paul Hartmann, Georg Alexander
Country: Germany
What it is: Love story

During World War I, six soldiers are bound together by repeated listenings to a phonograph from a beautiful singer. Years later the singer, while trying to evade a host of suitors, takes refuge in a castle in Flanders where she meets and falls in love with one of the soldiers. However, she loses him again, and discovers that there may be some dark secret about him…

IMDB classifies it as a romance, and the plot description at All Movies doesn’t give any info about fantastic content. My copy is in German with French subtitles, and for the longest time I was wondering if I would ever grasp what I assumed was going to be some very marginal fantastic content. Because of the language difficulties, the plot was very hard to follow, but I was able to piece together at least one crucial bit of info that makes it seem that the woman may have actually encountered a ghost. Even though further developments give a different interpretation of certain events, the possibility does seem to exist at one point, so that does give us a certain degree of fantastic content. However, another element exists; the singer’s last big musical number in the movie involves a machine that churns out robots, given an unexpected science fiction angle to the song; science fiction fans might like to hunt up the movie for this scene alone, as it’s quite impressive in its way. As for the movie itself, the language barrier really prevents me from making any meaningful overall judgment, but there are some striking visual moments; my favorite involves a scene at a concert where the singer notices the soldier in the audience, and breaks into the number that was on the phonograph, and the movie gives a nice suggestion visually that she is doing the song for him and him alone.


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