DIE WELT OHNE MASKE (1934)
aka The World Without a Mask
Article 3945 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Harry Piel
Featuring Harry Piel, Kurt Vespermann, Anni Markart
What it is: Science fiction comedy
An inventor creates a television that can see through walls, and becomes the target of criminals and spies who want his invention.
Like yesterday, this is a German movie from 1934 that ended up on my “ones that got away” list, only to finally drop into my lap. And, also like yesterday, I have no English subtitles to help me out, though I did read a short description of the premise that did. Unlike yesterday, though, there is definite fantastic content, and though the premise is along the lines of your usual Gizmo Maguffin plot, I can say that the invention is used quite often during the proceedings, often to foil the crooks who are trying to get their hands on the invention. However, the lack of English subtitles does hurt somewhat; though some of the humor is visual, much of it seems verbal and situational, and what I could make out of it was only mildly amusing. Some of it is obvious (the inventor and his assistant watch some showgirls undressing at one point), and nothing really happens that looks unusual or surprising. As a snap judgment, I’d say the movie is fairly ordinary, though there is always the chance that a translated copy might appeal to me more.